The Public Relations Officer of the Greater Accra Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr. Isaac Odei, has bemoaned the surge in teenage pregnancy among girls in basic Schools. He has therefore advocated for full time counselors for the various Schools .
He stated that he is worried about the situation and there are so many factors accounting for it, chief among which is poverty.
In his words “most of these young girls are lured with little money.”
Sadly he said teachers who should know better know better are a part of the problem. He says they ‘Befriend the girls’ to have sexual knowledge of them.
The below is the unedited Daily Graphic report.
A study conducted by a civil society organisation – Social Initiative for Literacy and Development Programme (SILDEP) – in 60 basic schools in the Upper East Region has revealed that 3,473 school-girls in the region became pregnant during the 2015/2016 academic year.
They were made up of 3,412 girls between the ages of 15 and 19, and 61 others below 14 years.
Following the grave statistics, civil society groups that participated in the forum called for stronger law enforcement to save girls in the region from early sex and forced marriages.
“This has a serious implication for law enforcement in the region,” he said.
He said in cases where girls between 16 and 18 years consented to sex leading to pregnancies, relatives of those girls negotiated for marriages or pushed the girls onto the partners to be catered for.
Mr Luri said what was even more worrying was the discovery that some basic school girls, particularly in Tumu, the capital of Sissala East District, had formed prostitution gangs that patronised nightclubs and other popular adult joints.
“I, therefore, call on the government to intensify its social intervention programmes,” he said.
The District Director of Education, Mr Francis Maali, blamed the girls and their parents for the high cases of early pregnancy and marriage.
Sharing his experiences with the media, Mr Maali said most parents neglected the responsibility of proper training of their children.
Two women at the function, Madam Patience Abavana, a hair dresser, and Madam Amamata Kassim, a seamstress, called for the involvement of men in the training of the girl child.
The Development Coordinator, Plan Ghana for the Sissala East and Sissala West districts, Mr Edmund Alofei, said the organisation was focusing on the girl child through structured programmes intended to empower and protect girls.
The programmes, he said, served as interventions to help the girls to learn, lead, decide and thrive.