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No NGO supports teaching of young people how to have sex, we only provide relevant information – Norsaac

Statistics from the Northern Regional education Directorate indicates that 324 pupils returned to school after covid 19 break with pregnancies. Out of the number, Saboba District recorded the highest with 193 followed by Yendi 79, Gushegu 22, Kumbungu 15, Kpandai 15 and Zabzugu one.

Forty pupils from primary four to JHS three also got pregnant in the Sagnarigu Municipality in 2017/2018 academic year whilst 23 pupils in both lower and upper primary in the Tatale/Sanguli Districts also got impregnated.

The region as at May this year, recorded 82 pupils returning to school with babies. Yendi municipality tops with 25 young mothers, kpandai 14, saboba 13, Gusgegu 11 with Tamale and Kumbungu recording seven each. 

Statistics and NGOs Desk Officer at the Ghana Education Service in Northern region, Alhassan Seibu revealed this at a day’s Norsaac Technical Team forum on reproductive health education in Northern and North East regions in Tamale.

Mr Seibu lamented that G.E.S is not able to follow up on reported pregnancy cases due to lack of resources and therefore appealed to stakeholders in education to support them in the regard.

The NGO desk officer blamed the situation on stakeholders not interested in establishing schools, adding that most basic schools are very far apart which make young girls fall victim of prey. He also expressed worry about early marriages among school girls and called for continue sensitization of parents, SMCs and PTAs as stakeholders seek support from Imams and pastors to curb the menace in the region.

Advocacy and Campaign Coordinator at Norsaac, Blessilla Na-Afeo-Kandoh has dismissed what she called misconceptions about NGOs at the forefront of the implementation of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) government proposed in 2019 as part of reforms in the curriculum. She maintained that it is never an intention of Norsaac or partners to support teaching young people how to have sex.

Norsaac and its partners she said are rather trying to empower young people with information to enable them take care of themselves in body integrity, personal and body development. Mrs. Blessilla Na-Afeo-Kandoh who is also the Coordinator of Innovative Sexuality Education Project (ISEP) told Zaa News that, Norsaac is looking forward to G.E.S to take the increasing teenage pregnancies issues at basic school level up seriously.

GES as the main stakeholder in education, Mrs. Blessilla added must challenge the technical team to intensify their monitoring mechanisms to curb the increasing teenage pregnancies and other negative outcomes as a result of young people not having sexuality education.

On the current stage of the controversial Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) that generated a lot of controversies in the country, Mrs. Blessilla said the policy has been revised with a new name “Sexuality Health Education” (RHE).

The then CSE was put on hold by the Ghana education service after several religious bodies in the country described it as dangerous to school children, especially at the basic level with the content then.

Source: zaaradio.com/Mohammed Ibrahim

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