Provide re-admission opportunities for teenage girls after pregnancy – Government urged

An Education think tank, Africa Education Watch, is urging the government to provide readmission opportunities for teenage girls who get pregnant while in school.

The call is among the recommendations made by Africa Education Watch in a statement to mark the International Day of the Girl Child.

The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, who signed the statement said teenage pregnancy, caused mainly by sexual exploitation is among the many threats to girls’ education in Ghana and in Africa.

“Presently, about 20 percent of the continent’s teenage girls become pregnant annually, posing disruptions to their education [in Africa],” Kofi Asare noted in the statement.

In Ghana, he said, “24 percent of girls who enroll in kindergarten do not complete Junior High School, with teenage pregnancy being a major factor.”

Among other suggestions, Africa Education Watch wants the government to provide nurseries and crèches in public schools, to enable teenage mothers enroll their children so that they can have time to complete their education.

It also called on the government to support girls who fall victim to sexual exploitation or violence.

Read the statement below:

Today is International Day of the Girl Child; a day set aside by the United Nations to reflect and take action on issues affecting the development of girls worldwide, especially their education.

Teenage pregnancy, caused mainly by sexual exploitation, and the absence of girl-friendly facilities in basic schools pose a major threat to girls’ education in Africa.

Presently, about 20 percent of the continent’s teenage girls become pregnant annually, posing disruptions to their education while more than 30 percent of the Continent’s basic schools are without basic toilet facilities.

In Ghana, close to 40 percent of basic schools have no toilets, and about 24 percent of girls who enroll in kindergarten do not complete Junior High School, with teenage pregnancy being a major factor.

The current teenage pregnancy rate of 14.2 percent is projected to increase by 2021 due to the long period of school closure occasioned by COVID-19.

On the International Day of the Girl Child 2020, Africa Education Watch calls on African governments to prioritize policies that;

1. Provide re-admission opportunities for teenage girls after pregnancy.
2. Provide nurseries and crèches in public schools, to enable teenage mothers to enroll their children, as they [teenage mothers] re-enroll to complete school.
3. Provide separate toilet facilities and changing rooms for girls in all schools, by entrenching separate toilet facilities and changing rooms for girls in school designs.
4. Support girls who fall victim to sexual exploitation or violence.
Ultimately, as a people, let’s all commit to end teenage pregnancy and make schools safer and friendlier for girls, for an educated girl is an educated generation.

 

Source: Ghananest.com

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