General NewsNews

Kasena Nankana West: Teenage pregnancy cases alarming

llegal mining activities and teenage pregnancies is affecting education of the girl child in some parts of the Kasena Nankana West District of the Upper East Region.

Despite the re-entry policy by the Ghana Education Service, retaining the girls in school has been difficult.

One will be fortunate to find a girl in this community who completes JHS without getting pregnant.

Almost all the girls between ages 13 and 19 are either pregnant, have delivered, or have been married off, a sad reality that comes knocking at the doors of every girl growing up.

The situation is even worse in the Tazika Bagtua area of the Kasena Nankana West District.

Here, illegal mining (galamsey) activities are a major cause of the pregnancies.

The men who are responsible are mostly illegal miners – popularly known as Galamseyers – from neighboring Burkina Faso.

Meet 15-year-old Matilda, a Form 2 pupil of the Kuliya Junior High School in the Kasena Nankana West District.

She narrates how she became pregnant.

“He is a galamsey boy. I asked him to give me money to buy food. In a day he gives me 50 cedis to buy foods for all my family.”

Like Matilda, Vida could not complete her Junior High School education.

She dropped out of school while in her final year.

“I got pregnant when I was in my final year in junior high school. My boyfriend is a galamsey man so he gives me money everyday.

“My education has been cut short because there is no one to take care of my daughter.”

These girls, like their other pregnant counterparts, while growing up had great dreams and aspirations to fulfill.

But these dreams have been dashed as the phenomena seem to be getting out of hand.

Schools are getting empty as most of the children who get pregnant are compelled to drop out of school and marry, militating against the re-entry policy of the Ghana Education Service.

This situation has become a nightmare for School authorities and residents.

Aloah Muniru is the Headteacher of the Tazika/Bagtua Junior High School.

“The galamsey issue is very very bad, it is affecting our studies here or our teaching and learning here because most of the children always leave school and then go for galamsey and they use that money to influence the girls and at the end of it the girls will also become pregnant and then they will leave school.”

Kasena Nankana West Director of Education George B. Woyongo

For the Kasena Nankana West Director of Education, George B. Woyongo, the situation has reached alarming proportions, requiring urgent action.

“It is affecting education because most of these teenage children who get pregnant, they are unable to concentrate on their academic work. Some of them have had to drop from school even though we are putting in efforts to make them stay at school.”

According to the Ghana Health Service, Ghana recorded 542,131 pregnancies among adolescent girls aged 15–19 years and 13,444 pregnancies among young teenagers aged 10–14 years between 2016 and 2020.

In 2022 alone, 102,673 teenagers were reported to be pregnant.

Despite the unending activism of Norsaac’s Power to Youth Programme against unintended pregnancies and other harmful cultural practices in the District, the numbers keep increasing.

“I think the delay in approving and implementing Comprehensive Sexuality Education is still one of the biggest challenges we are having as a country.

“Once we don’t make this effort to happen, we will continue to have young people not having access to information because where do they go? Most of them are in school and teachers need to have information to be able to give to students,” Head of Programme at Norsaac Hafsah Sey Sumani said.

Target 3.7 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 aims to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including family planning, information, and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.

If the situation is not improved, it will have adverse impacts on Ghana’s attainment of the SDGs and the medium-term development plan.

Gh Blinks

Gh Blinks is a young industrious, motivated, passionate, highly productive, and creative blogger and writer with strong communication and problem-solving skills. He has a couple of awards and honors to his credit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: