38 Sudents in Karaga Pregnant
More than 38 teenage female students in the Karaga District are pregnant and there are indications that they would drop out of school, a drawback to efforts made to encourage girl-child education.
Mr Fuseini Zakaria Ziblim, Karaga District Chairman of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) told the GNA that the district recently recorded 25 pregnancies among Senior High School (SHS) female students, while the Junior High Schools recorded 7 pregnancies with 6 other pregnant pupils coming from the primary schools.
He said many of the students who are yet to give birth, had all dropped out of school with the high possibility of not returning to the classroom again, and stressed that all the cases occurred in Karaga and that the situation could be worse if a head count was done across the district.
Mr Ziblim said this on the sidelines of a forum was organized by the Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC) in collaboration with the Alliance for Change in Education (ACE) as part of efforts that the NGOs were making towards addressing challenges affecting quality education in the Karaga and Gushiegu districts.
Mr Ziblim identified irresponsible parenting as the cause of the alarming teenage pregnancies in the area and that most of the students spent hours in discotheques with impunity.
He lauded teachers in the area for exercising their civic responsibility and therefore could not wholly be liable for the pervasive situation and called on stakeholders to assist in addressing the canker.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Emmanuel Holortu, Northern Regional Coordinator of the Domestic Victims and Violence Support Unit (DVVSU), attributed the situation on early sex stressing that the law would deal with people who engage in sexual activities with persons below the age of 16 when caught.
He advised parents to report people who abuse their daughters to the police as a way of addressing the problem of teenage pregnancies.
Madam Agnes Gandaa, Northern Ghana Coordinator of the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), expressed concern about the alarming rate of forced marriages in the Karaga District.
She said a survey conducted by her outfit revealed that many communities in the district practiced forced marriages, betrothal, exchange and other outmoded forms of marriages, which undermined female education in the area.
Mad Gandaa said parents had adopted a practice of refusing to send their female children to school to avoid the situation where teachers would attempt to prevent them from giving out their girls for marriage.
The forum was part of activities by the ACE/ISODEC to address the challenges of education in the Karaga and Gushiegu districts.