Research conducted by a non-governmental organization, Child Rights International (CRI) has revealed that 94% of children are afraid of being unemployed in the next two decades in the country.
The research which was conducted from June 2020 to April 16, 2021, targeted children between the ages of 12 to 17 to shed light on the issues of concern to children and make their voice heard.
The Executive Director of CRI, Bright Appiah, presented the findings of the report on ‘‘Ghana through the lens of Children, Present and the Next 20 years.’’ According to the report,
• 71% of the children in the study revealed they would focus their attention on solving the unemployment problem in the country by creating jobs if they became leaders in the future.
• 31% of the children said they would encourage entrepreneurship with the intention to create more jobs.
• 35% of the children said acquiring technical or vocational skills through Technical, Vocational, Education, and Training (TVET) would be paramount for them to be employable in the next 20 years.
• 55% of the children said they wished to migrate definitely
• 11% said they would either stay in the country or leave eventually, even though a majority of them said they were proud to be Ghanaians.
The Head of Psychology Department at the University of Ghana, Legon, Prof Joseph Safo, said the report had brought to light the generational gaps in the country, and that children must be re-oriented in their minds to have a positive outlook on agriculture.
“We should be worried when children are not interested in agriculture, they are the potential adults who are going to be the leaders,’’ he said.
He also noted that there was the need for children to be enlightened by the older generation to see the other side of life, skills, and knowledge. He also called for children to be taught such values as hard work, perseverance, and attitudinal change. To lead the charge, Professor Joseph Safo said his Department would partner with the CRI in subsequent studies to influence the government’s policies on the lives of children in the country.
On the other hand, the report has recommended that the government invest heavily in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and TVET courses. It was also recommended that children should be educated and encouraged to venture into the industrial sector, particularly manufacturing and artisanship for the creation of more jobs.
Furthermore, the report recommended the need for a conscious effort to educate children on agricultural opportunities within the entire value chain to clear the misconception of agriculture being limited to farming.