A Deputy Minister-nominee for Education, Gifty Twum-Ampofo, has stressed the need to re-integrate teenage mothers back into society after a successful delivery.
There are reports that teenage pregnancy cases have shot up significantly across the country.
While some have attributed the phenomenon to the government’s double-track system, others believe the COVID-19 pandemic is partially to blame.
Taking her turn before Parliament’s Appointments Committee on Thursday, June 10, 2021, Madam Gifty, indicated that the move will ensure that discrimination against teenage mothers diminishes over time.
According to her, this will help make the future of the children bright and not leave them behind in life.
“We are getting a system where the child is not stigmatised, and she can confidently come back to school and most often we prefer them coming back to the same school.”
“Even though the child didn’t take all the steps that have been put in place to prevent teenage pregnancy, the future of the child is still important, so the child is encouraged to go back to school.”
Teenage Pregnancy: Africa Education Watch pushes for flexible SHS re-entry for girls
According to Policy research and advocacy NGO, Africa Education Watch, findings from research it conducted on 200 schools across the country revealed that the Free Senior High School system and the Coronavirus pandemic contributed to increasing teenage pregnancies in Ghana.
Kofi Asare, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, noted on the Citi Breakfast Show on September 10, 2020, that the current architecture of admissions under the free Senior High School system did not permit re-entry.
“The Free Senior High School programme gives students a unique ID number and that number is the basis for which the government pays your fees. That number is valid for only three years,” he explained.
He also said his NGO was engaging the Minister of Education and other stakeholders to come up with a more flexible admission process into Senior High Schools for girls who try to return to school after pregnancy.
Central Region records 3,198 teen pregnancies in 2020
There have been discussions on teenage pregnancy after the Central Region recorded a total of 3,198 teen pregnancies from January to May this year.
According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), drivers, farmers, and teachers continue to be the group of men who are impregnating the teens in the region.