Some three hundred and nine (309) students in the Gushegu Municipality in the Northern Region have failed to return to the classroom following the reopening of schools in January.

Out of that number, 119 of them are said to be primary school pupils. Again some 155 out of the number were Junior High School students while 35 of them were in Senior High School.

Municipal Girl Child Education Officer of the Gushegu Municipality, Sakina Salifu disclosed this at the ‘End Child Marriage and Violence Against Children’ dialogue organised by the World Vision and the Savannah Women Integrated Development (SWIDA-GH).

According to her, while some of the female students dropped out because they were pregnant, others left for the cities in search of greener pasture.

The rest are also alleged to have dropped out to learn a trade.

Madam Salifu said, this is just a small fraction of schools they have monitored adding that the number could be more.

She raised concerns about the lack of parental control which she stressed played a role in the development.

Concluding her address, Madam Salifu called for more sensitization programs for both parents and students.

On his part, the Cluster Programs Manager of World Vision for Gushegu and Karaga, Sergious Beforii said 19 children, consisting of 11 boys were trafficked to the Volta Region in June 2021.

He said the timely intervention of the assembly enabled authorities to halt the operation, and the children have since been reunited with their families.

Mr. Beforii noted that incidence of child marriage and teenage pregnancy is still on the rise in many communities in the area.

He said a UNICEF report indicated that one in every five girls in Ghana aged 18 to 24 years get married before the 18th birthday.

Director of the Savannah Women Integrated Development (SWIDA), Hajia Alima Segito Saeed used the platform to appeal to parents to stop giving out their adolescent children in marriage.

She urged the parents to support their children so they could pursue their ambitions instead.

She thanked World Vision for funding the project which she said is contributing immensely to awareness creation.