The West Mamprusi District Assembly has reached an advanced stage in the process of gazetting its by-laws to make it enforceable in meting out deterrent stiffer punishments to male teachers who impregnate teenage school girls and perpetrators of forced child marriages.
Mr David Wuni, West Mamprusi District Chief Executive (DCE) announced this on Tuesday during an education durbar at Walewale organized by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) to showcase the progress made by Tackling Education Needs Inclusively (TENI II) project in the District.
ISODEC is implementing the three- year project with support from the Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) in the West Mamprusi and Mamprugu Moaduri Districts in the Northern Region, Talensi-Nabdam District in the Upper East Region as well as Jirapa District in the Upper West Region.
The project in its second phase, is aimed at encouraging local community support in areas of teacher volunteerism and redeployment to increase quality education delivery in basic education in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
The TENI 1 project was launched in May 2001 by President John Dramani Mahama, then the country's Vice President. It aimed among other things to address education needs in some parts of the north and it was intended to benefit 48,000 children, 2,000 teachers and 25,000 parents from the beneficiary Districts.
Comic Relief, a United Kingdom (UK) based donor organization, which funded the phase I of TENI with three million Pounds Sterling, is still funding the phase II.
Mr Wuni said children continued to perform abysmally in the West Mamprusi District due to teenage pregnancy, forced marriages and lack of parental care and emphasized the need for gazetting the approved by-laws for the necessary enforcement to reverse the trend.
He commended ISODEC and its partners for the implementation of the programme in the District and assured that the Assembly would give its full support to any programme aimed at improving the lives of the people.
Madam Agnes Gandaa, Northern Ghana Programmes Coordinator of ISODEC appealed to stakeholders in education to consciously target the enrollment and retention of the girl-child in school to help reduce illiteracy among women.
She said women continued to play their traditional and modern roles of productive, reproductive and community development effectively and stressed that women needed to be recognized and appointed to head institutions to ensure gender balance.
She said TENI was a VSO-ISODEC-Ghana Education Service collaborative project intending to promote and ensure girls’ enrollment, transition, retention and completion with good performance in the West Mamprusi and Mamprugu Moadri Districts.
The Guabulrana Salifu Mahama Tampurie, Chief of Zolangu who chaired the function, called for stiffer punishment for teachers, who impregnated school girls to serve as a deterrent to others.
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