Director in charge of Girls Education unit at the Ghana Education Service Catherine Nutsugah-Mikado wants stiffer sentences for adults who impregnate school girls.
She is appalled by the number of school girls who have had to drop out as a result of early pregnancy.
Nutsugah-Mikado says the chances of school girls advancing in their academic pursuit grow much slimmer when they get pregnant.
With stiffer punishment “you will think twice before impregnating a girl”, Mrs. Nutsugah-Mikado explained on Multi TV’s AM Show.
The annual BECE has once again thrown up an all too familiar stories of teenagers getting pregnant before the exams.
Twenty three girls taking part in this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the Eastern Region were pregnant.
At Koforidua Adawso Presby Primary and JHS where 300 candidates from nine schools are sitting for the examination, two were pregnant while five were in the same condition at the St Mangoase in the Akuapim North Municipality.
In a picture circulated on social media, a young girl was breastfeeding while writing her exam.
Mrs. Nutsugah-Mikado said sadly girls who get pregnant are ostracized and branded as bad and society hardly talks about those who impregnate them.
According to the Director, these stories need concrete policy decisions to curb the trend.
She believes some action must be taken to deal with teachers and headmasters who harass pregnant girls and those who prevent them from continuing with their education after childbirth.
Some people have suggested that boys who get girls pregnant must also withdraw from school and only be allowed back with the girl after delivery.
She says having personally followed some of the cases she thinks “we have laws in this country but it seems our laws are not working.”
Minister of Education Jane Naana Opoku Agyemeng
She says community members must be alert to arrest persons who impregnate girls saying “one girl cannot sleep and become pregnant…when you make a girl pregnant, you should be responsible for the pregnancy.”.
She also condemned men who either reject responsibility for the pregnancy or run away so that “the girl is left alone to suffer”.
The lack of role models and mentorship has also been cited as one of the reasons some girls do not take education seriously.
“When we come to the big cities and we make it we should go back for our girls to see that yes I am also from this community but I have been able to make it through education” Mrs. Nutsugah-Mikado stated.
For her, there is compelling need for a clamp down on the worrying trend.
It means if nothing is done, more girls are likely to fall out of the formal education system, creating serious setbacks in the campaign to promote girl child education,she added.