The Department of Social Welfare in the Bolgatanga Municipality of Upper East Region has raised concerns about the number of children engaging in cybercrime-related issues. Some of these children fall prey to cyberbullying, online sexual exploitation, or engage in internet fraud.
The Bolgatanga Municipal Director of the department, Mercy Pwavra said some parents prioritize their businesses to the detriment of their children’s welfare.
Madam Pwavra who is worried about the situation has attributed the leading causes of cybercrime-related issues and other social vices involving children to irresponsible parenting.
“In Bolga for instance, the number is not much. In a quarter, we record at least 2 or 3 cases, unlike other towns. But we know that they are growing up and will go to the universities where they will be exposed to mobile phones and other gadgets. If a child wants the parent to help him or her to buy maybe books or school uniform and it is not forthcoming, they may be lured. In Bolga for instance, some parents are highly irresponsible. A number of children are getting pregnant every day simply because the parents are not keeping watch over them.”
She spoke to A1 Radio in line with a series of exercises organized by her outfit to sensitize students in various schools in the municipality on child rights and cyber safety.
The engagement which uses the child protection toolkit has the support of UNICEF, an international organization with an interest in working to protect disadvantaged children and adolescents.
A team of Senior Chief Directors of UNICEF who came on a monitoring visit advised the students on some of the dangers associated with the use of the internet. They urged the students to judiciously use the internet service to improve upon their studies.
Madam Pwavra said the support involves sensitizing the students, especially the girls to personal hygiene, particularly when they are in their menstrual cycle.
The Municipal Director for Social Welfare reminded parents to constantly monitor their wards on the use of the internet which she says, could jeopardize their careers if not properly applied.
The Bolgatanga Municipal Director of Education, Ann Kye-eebo Estella, interacted with the Sumbrungu Kologo Junior High School students on cyber safety.
She was worried that early sex has truncated the education of many adolescents in the municipality.
“When you start early sex whether boy or a girl, self-control is difficult. If you are a young man or girl and you start sleeping with anybody at all, you can contract Sexual Transmitted Diseases. If you have started sex, you can control but if you haven’t, keep yourself away from boys and men”
She called on parents to be responsible by taking proper care of their wards for them to grow and become useful citizens in the country.
Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Bolgatanga|Ghana