By Seraphine Nyuiemedi
The Afadzato South District Girls Education Officer, Janet Esi Hammond, has appealed to parents to support their pregnant teenage girls or those who had delivered of their babies to enable them to continue their education.
She said 22 teenage girls in the District dropped out of school in 2018/19 academic year due to pregnancy, adding that, out of a total of 112 teenage girls who got pregnant between 2018 and 2021, only 45 have returned to the classrooms.
Madam Hammond disclosed this in an interview with GBC News when the Volta Regional Department of Gender organised a day’s Advocacy meeting program for pregnant adolescents/mothers in the Afadzato South District.
Participants were taken through topics such as sexual and gender based violence, Child marriage, teenage pregnancy: effects and prevention with a focus on STIs and family planning, GES pregnancy and re-entry Policy among others.
The program, which was funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) under the activities of its seventh country program, was to empower and build the capacity of pregnant adolescents/mothers to return to school to continue their studies or learn a trade for the development of their lives and society.
The Afadzato South District Girls Education Officer, Janet Esi Hammond advised them to obey their parents so as to support them to return to school.
“Since the inception of the GES re-entry Policy, we have recorded 45 re-entry girls in the District from 2018 to 2021, we are yet to add that of 2022. Parents should accept their teenage pregnant girls and love them more because that is not the end of their lives and so they should make sure they accommodate them and support them to return to school.”
“The girls too whatever their parents give to them, the little that their parents have and give to them, they should accept it in good faith.”
The Volta Regional Director of the Department of Gender, Thywill Eyra Kpe said education is the most important tool for the empowerment of any young person and therefore urged pregnant adolescents/ mothers to take advantage of the Government’s re-entry policy to pursue their education with all seriousness in order to secure a better future.
She describes the rate at which some communities in the Volta Region have recorded little or no pregnancy this year as encouraging. She said her unit with funding from the UNFPA is leaving no one behind in the fight against teenage pregnancy in the Volta Region.
“Our goal is to leave no one behind and so we have programs that are targeting different categories of stakeholders. We have programs that are targeting our parents, so far we have our parents networks in our seven communities in Afadzato South, South Dayi, and North Dayi.”
“We also have Community Watch Committees, where the communities themselves have come together to protect these adolescents from pregnancy and interestingly, last week we visited some of these communities and we were happy to report that those communities with the Watch Committees have recorded very little or no pregnancies this year, and so it’s a good thing for us to go.”
A similar event was earlier organised for pregnant adolescents/mothers in the Akatsi North District by the Department.