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Thirty-nine basic school girls pregnant in Wa East

By
Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA

Funsi, (U/W), July 15,
GNA – Thirty-nine (39) basic school girls have been impregnated in the Wa East
District of the Upper West Region in the first half of 2017 as against 28
within the same period in 2016.

Mr Evans Kpebah, Wa
East District Director of Education disclosed this during the “Let Girls Learn;
End Child Marriage Campaign” launched at Funsi by Community Development
Alliance (CDA-Ghana) with Funding from STAR Ghana under the Gender and Social
Inclusion programme window.

Addressing the
stakeholders’ forum, the District Director of Education noted that Child
Marriage and Teenage pregnancies were the biggest drawbacks of girls’ education
in the District.

Mr Kpebah mentioned that
Gurumbelle; a farming community in the district accounted for nine out of the
39 pregnant school girls within the first half of 2017.

He lamented the lack
of support from relevant stakeholders to get perpetrators punished according to
the law, saying the lack of punishment was the major cause of the rising
numbers in teenage pregnancies and child marriage in the district.

Mr Kpebah said the
launch of the campaign in the district was timely and described himself as the
happiest person while giving a firm commitment to support the implementation of
the project in the District.

Mr Issifu Salifu
Kanton, Executive Director of CDA, said until the many obstacles surrounding
girls’ education were consciously addressed, girl-child education would continue
to lag behind.

He said education
performance in the Upper West Region was generally poor, but that of the girl
child was even worse.

He noted that the “Let
Girls Learn; End Child Marriage Campaign” would work towards achieving child
marriage free communities where girls living in rural communities have equal
rights and opportunities to education, health and development aspirations.

Mr Kanton hinted that
society would become a better place if girls were protected against child
marriage and teenage pregnancies and also empowered to become responsible
citizens in society.

Madam Mercy Dakogri,
the Gender and Social Protection Officer for CDA who gave the overview of the
project said it was an initiative which seeks to influence changes in the
socio-cultural and religious norms that prevents and eliminates child marriage,
whiles advancing the education of girls and young women in the Region.

She said the project
would increase preventive action among families, traditional authorities and
religious leaders to abolish child marriage in their communities.

She added that the
project would collaborate with District Assemblies, Ghana Education Service and
Chiefs and Queen mothers to influence the adaption of gender equalities, norms
and the abandonment of child marriage.

“The project will
further promote the “The Youth Models of Change (YoMC) concept which will
inspire girls and young women to drive change in social, cultural and religious
norms by working through existing structures”, she added.

She said the overall
goal of the project was to end the practice of child marriage while enabling
girls to pursue their educational and vocational aspirations.

A total of 10
communities are to benefit from the implementation of the project in the
district.

GNA

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