Hon Dr Osei Yaw Adutwum, Minister for Education,
Minister for Education, Hon Dr Osei Yaw Adutwum has hinted that, his ministry together with the Ghana Education Service is set to launch a campaign against teenage pregnancy in the country.
According to him, “We are going to campaign heavily on it. The Ghana Education Service (GES) has an office responsible for that job, adding that they are going to invest and work on it.
More than half a million teenagers are on record to have gotten pregnant over the last five years, data from the Ghana Health Service District Health Information Management Health System (DHIMS) reveals.
Between 2016 and 2020, about 555,575 teenagers aged 10 to 19 years, are said to have gotten pregnant.
The minister in an interview with newsmen on Thursday April 6,2023 also warned men who lure the girl child into sexual activities that lead to the national problem adding that the new campaign will seek to it that, the law deals with such men.
Speaking on strategies mounted by his ministry in achieving this, Dr Osei Yaw Adutwum hinted said, “We will also collaborate with the traditional leaders, committee members and Assembly Members to eradicate this menace”.
He indicated that, anyone who impregnates a minor will be dealt with in accordance with relevant national laws protecting children from sexual violence and revealed that very soon his ministry will come out with policies to support the victims in seeking justice is court.
He encouraged parents and guardians to be vocal against perpetuators and report to the relevant authorities.
The Minister who is also the MP for Bosomtwe in the Ashanti region urged parents, community members and staff members in the schools to take responsibility to report inappropriate relationships between teachers and learners.
Pregnant teenagers can stay in school
Hon Osei Yaw Adutwum urged pregnant teenagers in Senior High Schools not cut short their academic journey by dropping out of school adding that no head teacher has the right to sack student for getting pregnant in school.
The Minister further appealed to the school going children not to let the investment their parent are making go waste.
He said children are the pension scheme of their parents and should not disappoint them.
According to the Minister, pregnant teenagers can stay in school as long as they are healthy enough to learn with their colleagues.
“In 2018, the Ghana Education Service, through the Girls Education Unit, developed a policy framework to help address the problem of pregnancy among school girls”.
The policy, among other things, is to ensure that girls who are pregnant get a second chance to continue their education during pregnancy and after childbirth.
Pregnancy among schoolgirls is a global concern, and it is one of the gender-related barriers that prevent girls from completing their education. While pregnancy affects schoolgirls in different ways, the main difficulty is their inability to continue schooling during pregnancy and after childbirth and that’s why GES has developed a framework for students to return to school after giving birth.
The government has made it a policy that since they have become pregnant, they need to come back. They go and give birth, then come back. So we calm them down, and we monitor them. I monitor their antenatal care and their food. Sometimes, I do give them food if the need be, we give them money if the need be; and then the parents also come in, and when it is almost time for the child or the girl to give birth, we allow the girl to go home, give birth, and, in 3 months’ time, the girl comes back to school.