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28 February 2017

Cases of teachers impregnating girls unacceptable — Department of Gender

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Director of the Central Regional Department of Gender, Mrs Thywill Kpe

The Central Regional Department of Gender has condemned recent reports of cases involving about 300 schoolgirls in the region alleged to have been impregnated by their teachers, describing the situation as “unacceptable”.

The Director of the department, Mrs Thywill Kpe, who expressed the sentiments, asked that the culprits be handed over to the police and dealt with according to the law, indicating the department’s determination to continue to partner various agencies and stakeholders to fight the menace, without relenting on its efforts.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, she said the situation was worrying and must be stopped, considering the fact that by their roles, teachers were custodians of the girls.

Mrs Kpe indicated that though the department was working with various stakeholders to reduce teenage pregnancies in the region the results were slow, and that compelled them to work with the directorates of health and education to “know who are impregnating our girls, and now we know who the culprits are and we would target them”.

Survey results

 

A survey involving a total of 301 teenage girls, representing 5.9 per cent of those who reported pregnant at the various health centres in the Central Region between July and December 2016, indicated that they were impregnated by their teachers.

This was out of a total of 5112 teenage girls who reported pregnant in the region over the period.

The records were part of a survey conducted by the Central Regional directorates of Health and Education and the Department of Gender to find who were impregnating the teenagers.

The survey also revealed that of the total number, 968 girls were impregnated by small-scale farmers, 676 were impregnated by drivers, while 353 were impregnated by the unemployed.

Mrs Kpe said the result of the survey was to allow the department and its stakeholder agencies to ensure that their educational programmes on teenage pregnancy targeted the real culprits.

Perpetrators

She noted that though the number of teenage pregnancies was gradually coming down, the perpetrators must be dealt with severally to deter others from such behaviour.

“We all know it is happening in the schools. In some cases, the GES has resorted to disciplinary transfers. But this is not the best solution. The GES must crack the whip and sack these teachers if need be and let the police also do their bit,” she said.

According to the laws of the country, anyone who has natural or unnatural carnal knowledge of any child under 16 years, with or without the child’s consent, is guilty of defilement and is liable to conviction to not less than seven years imprisonment.

Championing campaigns

She said the department and its allied agencies would now select and train people from the culprit groups and help them to champion campaigns against teenage pregnancy.

“We would educate them on the negative effects of their actions on the girls, the families and the nation and allow them to champion the campaigns themselves,” she added.

The Central Regional Director of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) George Appiah Sakyi, said anyone who impregnated a girl less than 16 years with or without her consent had committed a crime and must be reported to the police.

“There is no excuse good enough for you to impregnate a girl of 16 years and below and no individual or institution must try and settle these cases at home.”

 

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