Local initiative reduces teenage pregnancy at Zabzugu
Tamale, Aug. 29, GNA- Imam Vat, a locally developed punitive initiative, instituted by stakeholders in education in the Zabzugu/Tatale District of the Northern Region, has helped to reduce the increasing incidence of teenage pregnancy in the area.
Mr Sheini Paul Alhassan, Training Officer of the Ghana Education Service disclosed this at a day’s forum organised by the Department of Human Development of the National Catholic Secretariat with funding from Star-Ghana, a multi-donor pooled organisation in Tamale.
He said stakeholders adopted the initiative led by Muslim leaders in the district to ensure the improvement of quality education and to encourage enrolment of girls in schools.
Mr Alhassan shared the district’s success story at the forum, which brought together Regional, District and Faith Based Educational Unit Directors and Retired Educational Officers to share ideas, find solutions to the various challenges in the sector and fine tune ways to be published as a guiding principle to improve quality education in the Region.
As part of the measures that made the initiative successful, Imam-Vat, makes it compulsory that any person who impregnates a girl should pay a heavy fine and then marry her before the naming ceremony of the child is performed.
Mr Alhassan said the initiative served as a deterrent to teenage pregnancy in the area and had boosted the enrolment of girls and the pass rate of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
He emphasised that the other best practices, which the schools in the district observed included strengthening and involvement of parent-teacher-associations, frequent quiz competitions and effective monitoring and supervision.
Other initiatives instituted were the introduction of Friday extra classes, encouraging teachers to be committed and teacher motivation through the provision of accommodation in various communities.
He said during 2008, the district was placed 45th in the national BECE performance and subsequently improved to 37th position in 2009 and occupied the 2nd position in 2010.
Mr Samuel Zan Akologo, Executive Secretary of the National Catholic Secretariat observed that the region’s performance of BECE was low due to the gap between policy makers and other stakeholders and called on the sector to adopt the bottom down approach to address the various challenges.
‘There are very impressive measures that others have adopted to improve teaching and learning in their localities, which has yielded results but because of lack of communication among stakeholders others do not know,’ he said.
He said the challenges and the success stories of the region would be documented to encourage other schools to emulate them.
Mr Philip Issahaku Ziblim out-going Regional Manager of the Catholic Educational Unit said his outfit would ensure that institutions under its operational area adopt some of the effective management and service delivery measures to promote quality teaching and learning.
He said the challenges identified include poor learning environment, reading ability and attitudes of some teachers and children, lack of quality teachers, disability access and community participation.
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