Wa East District Chief Executive (DCE),Abdul Karimu Abudu, has justified a recent decision to use GHâ‚µ7,000 from the District Assemblies Common Fund, to purchase sanitary pads for 812 female candidates who sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) .
He said his decision is fueled by a growing concern in the way female students have been ignoring classes due to difficulties they encounter during their menstrual period.
Speaking to Joy News’ Upper East Correspondent, Rafik Salam, he cited an instance where he was called upon by a headmaster of a school that a female student walked out of school whilst classes was on-going because she was bleeding.
According to him, the issue of keeping girls in school is a serious issue that had to be dealt with urgency.
‘.they are real issues if we have to put the girl child in school, ‘he noted.
Over a week ago, parliament approved 156 million dollar loan facility between the government of Ghana and the International Development Association to finance the Ghana Secondary School Education Improvement Project, part of which would be used to purchase sanitary pads for adolescent female students across the nation.
The issue became a topical issue amongst members in parliament and some political pundits nationwide.
General Secretary of, ,Ghana National Association Teachers (GNAT), Mr. Nkansah Awotwi ,said government was overburdening itself with the free distribution of sanitary pads.
He said the priority for the Education sector is to get adequate classrooms, chalk, and books. Mr Awotwe personal effects for school girls like sanitary pads should be provided by parents.
National Youth Organizer of the NPP , Sammy Awuku, also said the act of purchasing sanitary pads for adolescent girls is demonic and part of plans to help the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) retain power in 2016.
‘If you are eating with the devil you must use a long spoon. NDC [National Democratic Congress] must know it cannot fool the people all the time’ he added.
Despite the resistance that this initiative faced,some ministers of state welcomed the initiative a good heart describing it as bringing hope to the girl -child education.
But a statement signed by the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection,Nana Oye Lithur, noted that ‘evidence has shown that investing in girls’ education, and ensuring adolescent girls are supported during their first years of sexual maturity has a direct positive impact and increases their chances of staying in school.”
The initiative is expected to take off later this year.
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