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Covid-19 impact; 788 BECE candidates absent due to pregnancy in the N/R-GES Director

The outbreak of covid-19 has resulted in the increase of teenage pregnancy among female students who sat in for this year’s Basic Education Certification Examination (BECE) in the northern region.

 The outbreak which led to closure of schools compelled students to at home with their parents.

The region total BECE candidates were 22,849 boys and 19,801 for girls were registered for 2020 examination. A total of 22,206 boys were present during the exam while 19,013 girls were present, a drop of percent …for both sex which may be as a result of covid-19 break.

A total number of 788 girls were absent and further probe by GES revealed it was pregnancy related issues.

A total number of 221 candidates whose pregnancies were at the terminal stage and they may feel ashamed of themselves failed show up at the exam centers.

One hundred and 133 heavily pregnant however gathered courage took part in the exam which GES believed that education has gone well with them that even if you are pregnant they can still come to write the exam.

The number who wrote as nurse mothers and went to the examination centers with their babies together with either grandparents or baby sitters were 96.

Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Dr Peter Attafuah disclosed this at the Regional Population Advisory Committee meeting. Dr Attafuah said the figures indicate that stakeholders including parents have more work to do to revise the trend.   

He suggested for education in the communities that being pregnant doesn’t prevent schooling.  

N/R GES Director Dr Attafuah

Presenting the population trends in the northern region, Regional Director National PopulationCouncil Alhaji Issifu Alidu Seidu Iddi said teens with lower levels of education are at higher risk of pregnancy.

According to him, percentage of women aged 15-19 who are mothers or pregnant with first child stands at 19.8%.

The national analytical report of Ghana Statistical Service ( GSS) May,2003 indicates that the Young Adults population is expected to grow in the next 30 years.

N/R Population council director

It put the age bracket as  15-24 from 1, 298,877 to 1,933,812 and 20-24 from 1,222,764 to 1,923,099. For every 10 births in Ghana, 3 are to the population aged 15-24.

 The Northern Region is the fourth most populous region in the country with the population of 3million according to the last census.

Between 1960-1970 representing 3.2% and increased by 3.4% in    1970-1984          and         1984-2000 it was 2.8 and increased marginally between 2000-2010 to 2.9%.

On his part, northern regional Minister, Salifu Saeed underscored importance of the right population in the development of every nation.

Mr Saeed said the limited resources distribution can only be evenly distributed if there is accurate data available to the government.  

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