Education stakeholders have expressed concern about the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the Central Tongu District of the Volta Region, describing it as alarming. The situation has led to several young girls dropping out of school.
Statistics from the Ghana Health Service indicate that in 2013, 417 teenage mothers delivered at health facilities in the district out of a total of 2,192 deliveries. This means more than 20 percent of all deliveries recorded at the facility were by teenage mothers.
A research conducted by NGO Global Women Development Promoters (GLOWDEP) and the Girl Child Education Department of the Ghana Education Service revealed that between September 2013 and March 2014, over 80 teenage girls got pregnant along the cause of their education and had to drop out of school from.
To help deal with the problem, GLOWDEP in collaboration with the French Embassy in Ghana has rolled out an educational campaign to promote girl child education, reduce incidence of teenage pregnancy and encourage girl child retention in schools.
GLOWDEP has held sensitization programmes in more than 25 basic schools in the district to educate girls to become responsible adults and stay away from pre-marital sex. More than 3,500 students have benefitted from the educational campaign. The project has also established girl clubs in schools to sustain the educational campaign
“We want to reduce the level of teenage pregnancy which is very high in the district. We build the capacity of girls, build their confidence and take them through adolescent health reproductive processes.
“This enables us to know how they can keep themselves so they can be retained in school and climb up the academic ladder,” Executive Chairperson of GLOWDEP Mrs. Victoria Amaglo Norgbey said during a sensitisation programme at Mafi Dugameh Basic School at Mafi Dugameh.
She advised the pupils to be careful about peer pressure and to take their books seriously. Mrs. Norgbey called for support from various stakeholders to help deal with the problem.
“It’s our hope that the teachers and parents will support us in this effort. Sometimes, girls dropping out of school can be attributed to things the parents are supposed to do for them which they don’t do for them,” she added.
Headteacher of the Mafi Dugame JHS Dzidefo Borbie said they are worried about the problem and would need a lot more support to deal with it. “The fact is that teenage pregnancy is endemic in this area. It’s a headache to all of us. We have been trying to find means to stop it or reduce it to the barest minimum. It is not peculiar to my school. It is common all over the place,” he explained.
“It’s something which breaks my heart. I sleep and sometimes I am not able to close my eyes because of these things….It is usual to have girls as young as 13 years becoming common pregnant,” Mr. Borbie added.
Girl Child Education Coordinator in the district Madam Mavis Sadzi expressed worry “teenage pregnancy has become prevalent in the district.
“Our teenage girls in the schools are getting pregnant each and every year. We are appealing to all the schools to cooperate with GLOWDEP to help deal with this canker.”
Join GhanaStar.com to receive daily email alerts of breaking news in Ghana. GhanaStar.com is your source for all Ghana News. Get the latest Ghana news, breaking news, sports, politics, entertainment and more about Ghana, Africa and beyond.