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Teenage pregnancy has thrown a whole district into confusion



The Mion District in the northern region has been thrown into a total confusion on what steps to take to address teenage pregnancy among school girls in the area.

Pregnancy among teenage school girls has become a social canker in the area and in fact,  an albatross around the neck of all stakeholders in education in the Mion district.

The problem, according to the education directorate, cuts across all levels of education, ranging from primary school to junior high school levels.

Ironically, the district is performing well in ensuring that the health of the people are protected. It was adjudged the best in sanitation among the 26 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies in the northern region

At a meeting convened by a nongovernmental organization, Ghana Developing Communities Association Empowerment for Life (GDCA-E4L) to deliberate on possible solutions to the problem, parents, opinion and religious leaders, teachers and the Ghana Education Service threw their hands up in despair, describing it as an albatross on their necks.

The Mion district education director, Mrs. Yakubu Balchisu, revealed that pupils from class 3 are among school girls being impregnated. According to Madam Balchisu, 21 pupils were impregnated in the 2013- 2014 academic year, which she described as alarming. “This figure prompted us to embark on a vigorous community sensitization to curb teenage pregnancy among school girls.”

The 2014-2015 academic year’s data on teenage pregnancy, however, shows some remarkable improvement from 21 to 18. The figure, she said, though it was an improvement, yet did not make the G.E.S Mion office relent on their sensitization efforts.

The education directorate, Madam Balchisu explained, was again thrown into total shock in the 2015-2016 academic year, as the data reversed the 2014 – 2015 figures with an astronomical increase, from 18 pregnancies to 27 pregnancies. The 2016 figures indicated, 1 from primary 3, 1 from primary, 1 from P4, 1 from p 5 and 1 from primary 6 at the upper primary level. At the junior high school level, six students from form 1 got pregnant, 12 from form 2 and 5 from 3, all got pregnant.

An additional six were recorded during the 2016 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), bringing the number of school girls impregnated to 33 in the Mion district in the third quarter of 2016.

Out of the 6 BECE candidates who were pregnant, only four took part in the exam. This is because GES policy does not ban such girls from taking their exam, explaining that the directorate encourages pregnant school girls not to shy away from coming to school.

The disappointed parents blamed each other for hiding under the relationship of families and the proverbial unity in the north to shield perpetrators of the acts.

The Chief Imam of Sang Alhaji Mutawakil said, “We have come out with a decree that any man who impregnates a school girl be made to take care of the girl, stop him from school, if he’s schooling and we even wrote to the police but there has been no response from police authorities.”

Some of the angry parents said posterity will judge their recalcitrant children who refuse to listen to their advice, because as they put it, “that was not the path we chose in bringing you into this world.”

Since all efforts to address this social canker have failed, government must step in, an angry mother appealed. But the education director, who is the secretary to the district Education Oversight Committee (DEOC), believes the only solution to the problem is by-laws sanctioned by the assembly.

“We have discussed the bylaw issue with the district chief executive and he has bought into the idea so am sure he bring it before the assembly members for deliberations,” she said.

According to her, if both males and females who engage in sexual promiscuity in the area are arrested, the problem will stop. She also called on parents rally behind her outfit and the assembly to bring it to an end.

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