The National Director of the Girl-Child Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service, Mrs Catherine Nutsugar Mikado, has revealed that between the years 2015 to 2018 about 21,460 school-going children have been impregnated in the country.
According to her, it was contained in statistics of reported cases of pregnant school children.
Mrs Nutsugah Mikado described this trend as worrisome as the education of the girl-child formed an important part of the country’s educational policies.
She revealed this at the Girls Education Week celebrations in Tema, Greater Accra Region.
She also emphasised that it was a serious crime for a teacher to have sex with a female school-going child.
She said once a girl is in school uniform, it doesn’t matter whether she is above 16 years or not, no male can have an affair with them.
Mrs Nutsugar Mikado, therefore, advised parents and guardians who opt for out-of-court settlement when their wards are defiled to desist from doing so and allow the culprits to face the full rigours of the law.
“Girls are vulnerable, they need a lot to grow and they must be made to know why they are being educated,” she stressed.
According to her, the GES was putting in place measures to ensure that girls who deliver while in school can go back to the same school and continue with their education and be accepted by the school.
The Chief Executive Officer of Eden Gold Services Limited, Mrs Elizabeth Asiedu-Mensah, reiterated the need for quality education for girls, as it would enable them to get better job opportunities to break through the vicious cycle of poverty in families and communities.
She said education also provides girls with competencies and valuable life skills that allow for critical thinking, self-confidence, and assertiveness and provide them with opportunities to become leaders.
The Tema Metropolitan Girls Education Officer, Ms Olivia Bosompemaa, noted that the event was observed annually to sensitise all stakeholders in education and the general public on the need to promote girls’ participation in education.
She said the UN has instituted the 11th day of October each year to promote girls’ empowerment and fulfillment of their human rights and highlighting the challenges girls faced worldwide.
Ms Bosompemaa lamented that one challenge of girls’ education was the increasing incidence of teenage pregnancy in the metropolis.
“The Directorate recorded 19 pregnancies during the 2017/2018 academic year, out of this, 14 of them were in JHS, out of which 6 did not write BECE at all,” she disclosed.
The celebration was on the theme: “Preventing teenage pregnancy through abstinence: the best choice for a healthy adolescent life.”
Story: Na-Illatu IDDRISU-SIKA, TEMA