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28.05.2007 General News

270 school girls pregnant in four years - Survey

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A total of 270 girls in Primary and Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) in the Mfantseman District have got pregnant in the past four years.

A survey by the Ghana Education Service in 30 schools in the District revealed that the Ekumfi Traditional Area with 165 in the 15 schools covered by the survey got pregnant with an average of 11 to lead in the canker.

The Mankessim and Nkusukum Traditional Areas recorded 44 pregnancies in the six schools covered with an average of eight to follow Ekumfi.

The two schools surveyed in the Abeadze Traditional Area had 14 with an average of seven while the two schools covered in the Anomabo Traditional area had three cases and an average of two.

The survey indicated that girls within the 16-year-old group recorded 76 pregnancies with the 17 and 15-year-old groups having 54 and 48 cases respectively.

JSS Form One girls topped the list with 58 followed closely by Primary Class Six pupils with 57.

There were 25 pregnancies at Ekumfi Asaafa, 24 at Narkwa while Otuam recorded 20 cases.

Miss Vivian Etroo, District Director of Education, attributed the problem to irresponsible parenting, misplaced priorities leading to poverty, parents migrating to seek greener pastures leaving children with their aged grand-parents and guardians without regular remittances.

She noted that because most of the victims were themselves products of teenage pregnancy, they did not get counseling and guidance and called for an intensified sex education in schools.

The government and District Assemblies should source funds for micro credit support for people in rural communities, she said and called on traditional authorities to enact by-laws to regulate the conduct of school children during wake keepings and festivals.

Source: GNA