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750,000 Teens Impregnated in 2014   
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The Deputy Minister – Gender, Children and Social Protection –Mrs. Della Sowah has attributed the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the country to lack of effective sex education both at home and in the schools.

Citing the Ghana Health Service (GHS) report, she said an estimated number of seven hundred and fifty thousand (750,000) teens, aged between fifteen and nineteen years, had been pregnant in 2014.

These figures, she asserted, meant parents and teachers have a huge task to play in fighting the menace in the country. She also bemoaned the absence of parental commitment in child upbringing, saying “both the man and the woman have no time in even taking care of the child, listen to their problem and provide the necessary emotional and psychological support that they need.

“The Majority of parents [today] concentrate on the financial needs of the child, rather than the emotional and sex educational needs. The child is barely monitored at home and is exposed to all kinds of movies and television programmes, which are not appropriate for his or her age, or need parental guidance to watch,” she added.

She made these observation at Ave Dakpa, the capital of the Akatsi North District, during Anquist College Complex’s third graduation speech and prize giving day on the theme: “Fighting Teenage Pregnancy: The Role of Parents and Teachers.”

Mrs. Sowah mentioned that the incidence of teenage pregnancy among Junior and Senior High Schools over the years has been very alarming, making one doubtful of the moral values imbibed in the youth. Describing the situation as devastating, she said the menace “is slowly killing the destiny” of a lot of children and the “future of this great nation.”

She, therefore, encouraged teachers and parents to re-strategise their effort in preventing early unprotected sex as its effects could be very devastating and unsettling to the child.

She also asked teachers to educate children on positive youth development; discuss issues that foster resilience and self discipline, direct positive career choices, good health and satisfying relationships with family, peers and other adults, which in the long run would promote academic excellence.

Parental Irresponsibility
Adegah Elizabeth, Anquist College Complex’s girls’ prefect in her address named parental irresponsibility due to poverty as one of the major causes of teenage pregnancy.

“This factor is a key issue that leads young girls to teenage pregnancy. Some parents do not care about their children …they allow them to behave how they want. “When they are going off track, they do not correct them and if this continues for a long time, the children will also get out of hand and behave anyhow they want,” noted Ms Adegah.

Source: The Chronicle

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