Mr Michael Katamani, Krachi East Municipal Education Guidance and Counselling Coordinator, says an alarming level of teenage pregnancies and early child marriages are among the major issues affecting education in the Municipality.
He said the Municipality had a high level of teenage pregnancy cases; stating that in the just ended Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), 22 girls were pregnant.
He said of the 22, two of them were delivered of babies during the examination week.
He noted that of the two girls, one of them was able to complete her BECE.
Mr Katamani made these revelations in his presentation during a courtesy call by a delegation from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Ghana and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), on the Krachi East Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Patrick Charty Jilima at Dambai.
The visit was to enable the delegation have an overview of the District and programme priorities on adolescent girls.
UNICEF and KOICA are jointly implementing a three year programme dubbed: “Better Life for Girls (BLG) and is aimed at providing adolescent girls in Ghana with knowledge, skills, and an enabling environment to enable them make informed decisions on issues affecting them.
The $ 5.2 million project highlights interventions which cover health and nutrition, girls’ education and child protection.
The objective of BLG interventions in education is the design of package of interventions to keep girls in school, facilitate experience sharing across districts and engage in inter-sectoral policy dialogue for prioritising interventions to support girls’ education.
Mr Katamani said the completion rate of girls who completed basic education within the municipality in 2017 stood at 34.3 per cent, however, with the interventions of UNICEF and its partners indicated that the situation would soon improve.
Mr Paul Avorkah, National Director, Department of Community Development, said the child protection programme was now being implemented in a holistic manner through its Child and Family Welfare policy and Justice for Children policy.
He said they targeting, preventing child abuse, violence against children and child neglect, and was working through community education by engaging family members, community members and faith based organisations to be able to empower them to support children.
Mr Avorkah said in a situation where child abuse, child marriage issues were happening there would be a need to provide quality services through his department, the Social Welfare Department and Ghana Education Service, so they could respond appropriately.
“So we are training all the Assembly members in Ghana with the information, knowledge and skills to be able to provide these quality services,” he added.
Mr Yukyum Kim, Country Director, KOICA, said the BLG project which was being funded by KOICA had components that underscored approaches which could holistically support the adolescent girls’ empowerment agenda.
He said the field visit would help KOICA and UNICEF assess its programmes and gather evidences to enable extend its interventions.
Madam Anne-Claire Dufay, Country Director, UNICEF Ghana, said UNICEF had been collecting data about social indicators in various districts and was keen in improving the situation of children, adolescents and families in the area of social welfare, health, education, water and sanitation.
She said it was encouraging to see the progress already made in the lives of girls, as there were concerns about early marriage, teenage pregnancy, school drop outs, anaemia and other issues that girls were facing in their daily lives.
She said in the Volta Region, one person out of three lived below the national poverty line, and one out of five girls got married early; so these were some of the indicators they wanted to change together with the community to make a difference in the lives of families and especially girls.
Mr Jilima said the Assembly would soon open two schools for only girls at Dambai and Ayeremu, to enable them have access to education.
He noted that most of these girls had challenges with regards to education; so the two modules dubbed “Module Girls School” would help provide the training that would enable them to reach their full potential.
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