The Ghana Education Service has released analarmingstatistics which indicates 7,293 teenage girls wereimpregnatedduring the 2018/2019 academic year. This figure is only for reported cases and may exclude private schools.
Thiswas madeknown by the National Director of Girls Education Unit (GEU). According to the Director, Mrs. Benedicta Seidu, this numberrepresentsgirls in both basic school and second cycleinstitutions.
In July this year, there was a similar statistics released by the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison. It revealed that 11,000 teenagerswere impregnatedin only the Central Region in 2018. This translated into a disturbingstatisticsthat 5 teenage girlswere impregnatedevery 4 hours in Ghana in 2018.
Worrying teenage pregnancy Trends in Ghana
Thesemust beworrying trends for the nation, theGES and parents. 1,024 of the total girls inpregnated were upper primary school pupils thus from Basic 4 to Basic 6. The Junior High Schools recorded a total of 4,836 teenage pregnancies while the Senior High School (SHS) had 1,433 cases.
These statisticswere madeknown during the 3rd CAMFEDAlumniAssociation (CAMA) National Annual General Meeting inTamalewith the theme: “Positioning CAMA for the Next Five Years: Focus on Enterprise Development and Leadership for Nation Building”.
Out of the over 7000 victims, 180 Upper primary school girls, 2,326 Junior High School Girls, and some 693secondaryschool girlswere supportedleading to their return to the classroom topursuetheir academic dreams and aspirations after delivery.
Mrs. BenedictaSeiducalled on heads of schools to give all the needed support to such students to help them reach their goals. Heads of schools were further advised not to drive such students out of school.
It isan undeniablereality that, teenage pregnancy, Child marriage and forced early marriage are still around and being practiced. These social challenges have negative implications on girl child education in the country.
Teenage pregnancy and Head teachers roles
Whiles headteachers are being encouraged not to send such children home, there is the need to intensify education on the undiluted benefits of abstinence, empowering our young girls to see the bigger picture and why they must say no to sex and focus on their educationinstead ofengaging in sex and sex-related activities.
Let us all make our children, young girls and our selves aware of the truth that, girls have become vulnerable to lures by men. Let us become parents and guardians that are younggirlsand boys can trust and share their challenges with.
Education and counseling at home and by professionalsare neededmore today if we are to deal with this social problem.
Source: Wisdom Eli Kojo Hammond |Human Rights Activist|Public Speaker| Budding Leadership & Research Expert |Educationist, Author & Blogger |Newsghana24.com