Teenage pregnancy refers to the pregnancies which occur among girls who are nineteen years and below. Over the years, Ghana has recorded several students who get pregnant before writing their final year exams in Junior High School and Senior High School. This problem is very appalling and is destroying the beautiful future of these young ones. This article would discuss the causes and effects of teenage pregnancies on girls and the nation.
First and foremost, most girls are curious about knowing and trying everything and this lands them in an unwanted pregnancy. These girls practice the things they hear especially sex from friends and other people and once they get into it, they find it difficult to stop and get pregnant in the process.
Also, when it comes to teenage pregnancy, one cause is peer pressure. Many teenagers are especially influenced by their friends to have boyfriends or girlfriends and have sexual affairs with them. Engaging themselves in such immoral acts automatically results in teenage pregnancy.
Again, financial constraints cause girls to engage in immoral acts. The poor financial condition of the girls’ families compels them to engage in immoral acts to get money to cater to their basic needs in school. Moreover, some parents compel their daughters to engage in immoral acts to make money for them.
As a result of these causes, the girl who gets pregnant out of curiosity may drop out of school. This is because she cannot take her pregnancy to school and losses all her educational opportunities that enable them to secure a better future. And even if the girl returns to school, her mates would be ahead of her.
Also, the girl losses the respect of her family and friends even though she was influenced by her friends even negatively. She becomes a social outcast as she feels shy to associate freely with her friends.
Then, teenage pregnancy would expose the girl to sexually transmitted infections. Teenagers who engage in sexual intercourse may become infected such as HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis, and others. And these infections can affect unborn babies.
In addition, the illiteracy rate will be ascending in the nation. When more girls drop out of school, the knowledge they were supposed to gain stops hence their understanding of the function of the government and their contribution to the development of the nation is hindered. And this gives the nation a bad image as it increases in illiteracy rate.
Furthermore, there would be a waste of resources starting from the parents of the girl, to the school and the nation in terms of free senior high school. The money the parents, the school, and the government have spent on her education is wasted.
Again, the productivity of the country would be affected. The human resources needed for the development of the country would be reduced as the number of school dropouts increases.
In conclusion, the future of these girls in society is being jeopardized and if caution is not taken, it would tarnish the good image of the nation at large. This problem affecting the lives of these girls can be perverted through sex education. Sex education should be vigorously pursued both at home and school. Parents must feel free to discuss issues of sex with their children as well as teachers must do well to take students through lessons on sexual and reproductive health. Encouragement of adolescent chastity should be encouraged. This can be achieved by encouraging and assisting teenagers to form or join social clubs and organizing educational campaigns highlighting the benefits of being chaste. And also, stakeholders such as parents and teachers to live an exemplary lifestyle. Since students see their parents and teachers as role models, it is appropriate when they lead and live worthy of emulation. This exposure would help girls to refrain from pre-marital sex and have a better future.
JOHNSON GIFT ELLINGTON,
PRESBYTERIAN SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL,