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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Ghana Is Counting- Get Counted!

Dr. Grace Bediako (Government Statistician)

Before the advent of a population census by the British Administration, our local chiefs used to count their subjects at specific periods. Population counting in Ghana started in 1891 with a population of 764,185. For all things being equal; Ghana conducts Censuses at a ten (10) years interval, but these were confined to the colony. It was not until 1921 that the exercise was extended to cover the entire area of modern Ghana but was interrupted in 1941 as a result of the 2nd world war and resumed in 1948, the last count in pre-independent Ghana. Since then, there have been four post-independent censuses (1960, 1970, 2984, and 2000).

CENSUS YEARS IN GHANA AND CORRESPONDING POPULATION

CENSUS YEAR POPULATION
1921 2.3 million
1931 3.2 million
1948 4.1 million
1960 6.7 million
1970 8.6 million
1984 12.3 million
2000 18.9 million

Source: GSS, 2005 Population Data Analysis Report, Vol. 1, Table 1.1, p.3

The 2010 Census will be the 5th Census to be carried out in the country since Ghana’s independence in 1957. The Population and Housing Census will be the second time Ghana will be conducting a Population and Housing Census as one operation. This will give us the total number of persons and housing types in every Ghanaian town or village settlement. Statistical Service Law, 1985 (PNDCL 135) empowers the Government Statistician to conduct statistical surveys and any Census in Ghana. The Census takes of on the 26th of September 2010.

I will advice you take great note of the following important tit-bits:

Only the head of a household (a person with direct social and economic responsibility for the members of the household) or any responsible adult of the household qualifies to be interviewed in the 2010 Census, the head will answer on behalf of the members, so it’s best for heads of households to know some basic information on members of their household, e.g. Age, Date and Place of Birth, Educational Status, Employment Status, Actual type of work the person does.

All persons (Ghanaians and Non-Ghanaians) in the country at the Census Night will be enumerated, but everyone will be interviewed on the same day, the enumeration/counting exercise is two weeks, if your household isn’t counted during the period, let the Census Officials know through these hotlines provided: 0289553888 and 0289553889.

No need to travel to one’s hometown to be counted for the Population and Housing Census (PHC) 2010, everyone must be counted at their actual place of stay as much as possible- it will enable government and providers of amenities like electricity and water to know the kind and number of people they are dealing with. Otherwise there will be wrong impression with the distribution of the population, “quality data drives good decision making”. Also note, you will be enumerated where you spent the Census Night (12 am, this is a reference point to which all information collected will be referred to. This is due to the snap-shot nature of the census). Please, respondents should cooperate with enumerators and give accurate Information to Census officials; they are under oath to keep all information they receive from respondents, as Confidential.

About five-thousand (50,000) field workers will be dispatched to all parts of the country to conduct interviews of households and compile the population and basic characteristics of residential institutions, such as boarding houses, hotels, hospitals, prisons, etc.

The ensure you are dealing with a genuine census officer check for an identification Card (ID), a census-customized T-shirt and a letter of introduction, if one is still in doubt please call the numbers provided above.

Note, from the history of Census in Ghana, there has never been any time when census data has been used for taxation. Everybody counts including the physically challenged, even the bed-ridden, so don’t hide them- Ghana can only plan better for them if their numbers are known. People traveling, those who will sleep in hotels, motels and the other rest places will enumerated on the Census night. Same applies to Students in boarding Schools, Colleges and Universities, Patients in hospitals, Prisoners, Security staff at border posts, and Out-door sleepers.

If you are still asking, “What at all will our nation derive from the Census?” I would love you listen good;

  • The Census would fulfill international requirements for data availability to track the nation’s progress.
  • The Census would enable us Update data on demographic and socio economic characteristics at the national, regional and district levels of our nation.
  • Data accrued will enable equitable distribution of resources and services at all levels.
  • It would provide basic data that can be used in the computation of indicators for tracking the process of poverty reduction programmes and other core targets of the economy including the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Thanks for reading this item, hope you enjoyed every bit of information. Kindly pass the information on and remember to be sincere and give the enumerators accurate information about yourself and household.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2010 in Issues!

 

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CAN CHILD LABOUR EVER BE STOPPED?

Yes, why would Children like Malik and Ayisha (all below age 10) be out of school and into labor that makes them not benefit from any school activity, puts their health and proper development at risk? Poverty still remains the number one cause of many of the world’s problems esp. Child Labor. MDG 1 proves it- eradicate extreme poverty? But even so, hasn’t poverty being around for long? Must we always point fingers at poverty when deny many children the right to education?

Socio- cultural misconceptions have also played a major role in putting kids like Malik and Ayisha in the state they are-out of school and as ‘Child-Adults’ fending for themselves and their families too, exposed to all sorts of Immoral act. One may argue by saying “isn’t it money the children put in school want to make? Why don’t they start now?” to them I say “Shame! When did it become the Childs responsibility to cater for the family?” again, “Don’t you know your ward can make more money after completing school? Don’t you know children have every right to be educated- learn much as their capabilities allow and share their knowledge and experience with others?” Lack of education on the part of some parents and community leaders also give way for the cankers’ occurrence, how? Educated people- Educate people; hope it’s clear enough to win you to my side of the argument. Let me ask you this question: “Wouldn’t institutional weakness in application of Laws against cankers such as Child labor encourage the menace?” okay, “and how can an under resourced institution be in a better position to fight such a canker?” You and I are partly to blame for this, know why? We have done virtually nothing to contribute to the halting of this menace, how much noise have we made about it, to whom and where? Till it stops, we must not keep mute- even if there’s a child left in labor!

It is sad many of these children repeat the act by sometimes involving other children if not theirs in the near future in Child labor- vicious cycle. Again it sure retards our progress as a nation and the world at large because we may end up not achieving MDG 1 and 2 which talks of eradicate extreme poverty and achieving universal basic/primary education, respectively, all by 2015? We are all involved, MDG 8 clearly states that fact, and it will take partnership at all levels to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) esp. at the Rural, National and Global levels! And guess what? We nag ourselves about high unemployment rates, forgetting that the jobs able-bodied grown folks would do are currently is the hands of children- endangering their un-fit for job bodies.

Like it or love it, we must all realize that Child labor is illegal and contravenes the laws of every country in the world. It’s also an infringement on the rights of the child (Survival, Development, Protection and Participation). Children who aren’t properly equipped get injured. It has a negative impact on the child- morally and psychologically.

I would like to remind us all that they have been interventions: ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), ILO Convention 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL), Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) and Children’s Act 560 and many other legislative instruments worldwide.

I believe we can do more. What? Sensitization to promote attitudinal and behavioral change also -lets walk the talk by enforcing our laws, let’s strengthen Social Welfare Departments with qualified and dedicated staff, resources and many more to help them function as an Institution. Indeed ignorance of the law is no excuse; nevertheless, the laws must be made known! We can better fight this canker if we work together by strengthening collaborations between agencies that work to protect children’s rights to combat the worst forms of child labor. Build schools in labor prone areas and encourage every child to be in school and parent to get their children in school. Commitment of all; You and I, Parents, Leaders and children will help make this world a child labor free place.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2010 in Issues!

 

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