By Dennis Peprah, GNA
Sunyani, Oct. 2, GNA – A total of 138 pregnant
girls wrote this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the
Brong-Ahafo Region, statistics from the Regional Girl Child Education Network
The network is made up of representatives from
the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), Department of Social
Welfare, Children’s Department and the Ghana Education Service.
Seventy-four of the pregnant girls could not
write the examination, said Mrs Beatrice Mamle Nkum, the Brong-Ahafo Regional
Coordinator of Girl-Child Education.
Interacting with a section of the media in
Sunyani, Mrs Nkum said teenage pregnancy remains a huge impediment to the
growth of girl-child education in the region.
In the 2016/2017 academic year, the region
recorded 778 pregnancies, 144 in primary, 573 in Junior High and 91 in Senior
A greater percentage of these girls, the
Girl-Child Education Coordinator said, were unable to pursue their education to
Mrs Nkum said girls constituted the majority
of out of school children due to teenage pregnancies, child marriages, parental
neglect, poverty, unfriendly school environment and cultural misconceptions.
These girls did not complete primary six or
Junior High School, she said, adding that the completion rate for girls in
basic school for the 2017/2018 academic year stood at 46.8 per cent.
Mrs Nkum said girl-child marriage was also an
issue that was prevalent, especially in Muslim communities, saying “once an
adolescent girl is married, it is rare she remains in school”.
She said though the Criminal Code Amendment
(Act 554) prohibited compulsion in marriage, the Act was still being secretly
practiced in areas such as Tain and Banda Districts as well as the
Atebubu-Amanten, Wenchi and Kintampo North municipalities of the region.
As Ghana joins the world to mark the 2018
International Day of the Girl-Child, Mrs Nkum appealed to the media to
intensify advocacy to promote girl-child education.
The International Day of the Girl-child which
falls on October 11 every year was instituted by the United Nations to
highlight and address the needs and challenges that girls encounter while
promoting girl’s empowerment and fulfillment of their human rights.