Teenage pregnancy is greatly affecting efforts at encouraging and promoting girl child education, especially at the secondary level, in the Tain district of Brong Ahafo.
Madam Comfort Manu, Girl Child co-ordinator of the Ghana Education Service (GES) disclosed this at a career fair held at Nsawkaw in the district at the weekend.
The programme was jointly organised by Social, Development and Improvement Agency (SODIA) and Action Aid Ghana at the weekend.
She noted that it was very common to see Junior High School graduates either pregnant or carrying their babies, “meaning they have ended their education, as they are interested and feel proud of giving birth”.
The programme was attended by 160 JHS students from eight schools in the region and was aimed at encouraging the students to remain focused and to be determined to achieve their aims for the future.
The students interacted with selected professionals including a nurse, agriculturalist, educationalist, banker and a pastor.
Madam Manu stated that a survey conducted in the district indicated that girls outnumbered boys at the kindergarten and primary levels, but only few girls were counted at the JHS and Senior High School levels.
It is not the fault of some of the girls but rather their parents, who encourage them to engage in the practice “because their friends are doing so”, she said.
She, however said some of them engaged in the practice for the love of money and other material gains, whilst others were influenced by peer pressure.
Madam Cecilia Akadumah, District Public Health nurse at Tain district hospital, expressed regret about the soaring number of abortion cases among teenagers who visit the hospital.
The hospital records more than 12 cases of abortion every month, she said, adding that, some of the teenagers were rushed to the facility in very critical and complicated conditions that needed prompt attention to save their lives.
She advised the youth to desist from early sex to avoid risks that could lead to loss of life.
The nurse advised that even though abortion had not been legalized it was better to go to a health centre for attention rather than applying herbs and other concoctions that were dangerous to the human body.
Madam Akadumah asked the students to remain focused in school to pass their examinations and achieve high laurels instead of engaging in pre-marital sex.
“You are likely to contract one of the deadly sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV if you engage in early and unprotected sex”, she said.
Pastor William Boakye Ansah of the Pentecost Church advised the students to take their studies serious since no institution would employ school dropouts or graduates, and that the phenomenon had led a number of the youth to the streets, lorry stations and markets looking for menial jobs. GNA