Rising teenage pregnancies in the Suhum Municipality in the Eastern region have seen a total of 35 school girls giving birth.
This has been revealed by the Suhum Municipal director of Education, Esther Quaye.
Speaking at the inauguration of the ‘Municipal Advocacy Platform for Back to School campaign taskforce’ instituted to ensure that school dropouts return to school after the long closure of schools as a result of Covid-19, she said 35 SHS students have delivered while seven are heavily pregnant.
These pregnancies occurred between the periods of March 2020 and April 2021 in three Senior high schools including Suhum Technical Senior High Schools, Suhum Presbyterian Senior High School, and Islamic Girls Senior High School.
In that same period covered between March 2020 and April 2021, the Suhum Municipal Education Director said five students [age 12 to 20] were impregnated at the basic level.
Even though there were concerns that the implementation n of the double-track system as part of the Free Senior High School Policy increased the risk vulnerability of female students, the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 led to a lockdown and 10 months closure of schools worsened the menace.
The Municipal Education director stated that, even though there is the likelihood that some pupils have dropped out of school in the Suhum Municipality to engage in other economic activities such as Okada, hawking, selling on the streets, immoral activities among others, evidence shows that, Public basic schools in the municipality have seen an increase in enrollment as some parents have withdrawn their children from Private Schools to Public schools.
She stated that total enrolment in all 68 public Kindergartens in the municipality has increased from 4169 in March 2021 to 4,466 in May 2021. Again, enrolment in all 78 public primary schools has risen from 13,088 to 13,543. At the Junior High School, level enrolment also saw an increase during the same period from 566o to 6149.
Breakdown of the pregnancies:
Islamic Girls Senior High School – 15 deliveries and four pregnancies
Suhum Technical Senior High Schools (SUTESCO) – eight deliveries and one pregnancy
Suhum Presbyterian Senior High School (PRESEC) – two deliveries and two pregnancies
Basic school level:
There were pregnancies recorded in 12 and 13-year-old class four and Class six pupils respectively while the rest are Junior High School pupils.
Meanwhile, over 100,000 teenage pregnancies were recorded nationwide during 2020.