ONE Hundred schoolgirls who were pregnant wrote the just ended Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the Brong Ahafo Region, Mr Eric Opoku, the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister has mentioned.
According to him, 98 out of the 100 did not disclose the names of the men who were responsible for their pregnancies but it was believed that most of those who impregnated them were their age mates.
Mr Opoku stated that the pregnancy cases came to light at a meeting he held with heads of the various Junior High Schools in the region just after the BECE.
He said the pregnant candidates were detected by the heads of their schools during their visits to the various examination centres in the region.
Mr Opoku made this known at a durbar of the people of Ayima, a farming community in the Kintampo South District in the Brong Ahafo Region to launch the 15th anniversary celebration of the enstoolment of the Queen of the town, Nana Saa Gyamfuaa II at a ceremony at Ayima.
He described the situation as alarming and called on parents not to shirk their responsibilities towards their children, especially girls when they were in the adolescent age.
“This is the period that your female children need your care, advice and love in order not to fall prey to unscrupulous men and young boys hovering around in your communities,” he stressed.
The deputy minister, therefore, urged traditional rulers, especially queens to liaise with their respective district assemblies to enact bye-laws to curb increasing teenage pregnancies in their various traditional areas in the region.
He called for the re-introduction of some of the good cultural practices in the various traditional areas that helped girls to keep their virginity till marriage, to help curb such social menace in the region.
He said the government had directed that 60 per cent of government’s scholarships should be offered to JHS graduates who would gain admission to Senior High Schools, especially those from rural and deprived communities.
Mr Opoku added that the government had also directed the district assemblies to use two per cent of their common fund to support education.
He, therefore, enjoined the assemblies to pay admission fees of all JHS graduates who would gain admission to SHS but could not pay their admission fees.
He stated that the government would fulfil its campaign promise of providing free school uniforms and exercise books for all pupils in public basic schools in the country as well as making Ghanaians to pay a premium under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
In response to an appeal by the queen, Mr Opoku said the government had earmarked some roads in the region for construction this year and the Ayima township would be a beneficiary.
He added that the town would also benefit from the Small Town Water Project and in addition be connected to the national grid.
Earlier in a welcoming address, Nana Gyamfuaa stated that her town was one of the deprived communities in the region which lacked many social amenities.
She, therefore, appealed to the government to come to their aid in terms of development projects to enhance the living standard of her people.