Kwahu Nkwatia Presbyterian Senior High School headmistress, Mrs Cythia Anim, reported the worrying situation in the Eastern part of the country. According to her, most of the girls in JHS and SHS returned to school pregnant, with some donning engagement rings.
A report cited on Starfm.com uncovered the alarming increase of teenage pregnancy among students in the Eastern Region. According to Mrs Cythia Anim, “Some female students returned to school pregnant and wearing engagement rings. They got impregnated and were forced into marriage. But the policy says you cannot sack them from the school. So I allowed them to stay in school. I only asked them to remove the rings. In all this, it will get to a stage they will drop out of school when the belly protrudes”.
She disclosed this at the Girls Education Network formed by the Plan International Ghana meeting. The conference was part of the commemoration of the Day of the African Child on June 16 of every year.
Mrs Anim also blamed the situation on the law, which permits girls to legally have sex at a young age. She said that the consensual age has exposed these young girls to the cunning ways of amoral men. She said, “Government is saying that a person can go to bed with whoever he chooses at age 16. So if a girl doesn’t start KG early by 16, she is in school and legally free to have sex and at age 18 can even go ahead and marry.”
“So, we have realized that our girls are getting pregnant. And they even go and marry and come back to school with their rings on, which is of very bad taste. Because we know at the basic level, a girl should not be pregnant and marry. If for anything at all it should be tertiary, but with this clause, where lies the power of school authorities to question girls who come to school with their wedding and engagement rings?” she continued.
Eastern Region recorded the second-highest numbers in teenage pregnancy. A total of 109,888 adolescent girls were impregnated in 2020 in Ghana. Of which 2,865 were between 10 and 14 years. And 107,023 were between the ages of 15 years to 19 years.