Teenage Pregnancy Cases Alarming “Almost all the girls between ages 13 and 19 are either pregnant or have delivered – Kasena Nankana West

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Illegal mining activities and teenage pregnancies is affecting education of the girl child in some parts of the Kasena Nankana West District of the Upper East Region.
Despite the re-entry policy by the Ghana Education Service, retaining the girls in school has been difficult.

One will be fortunate to find a girl in this community who completes JHS without getting pregnant. Almost all the girls between ages 13 and 19 are either pregnant, have delivered, or have been married off, a sad reality that comes knocking at the doors of every girl growing up.

 

The situation is even worse in the Tazika Bagtua area of the Kasena Nankana West District.

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Here, illegal mining (galamsey) activities are a major cause of the pregnancies.
The men who are responsible are mostly illegal miners – popularly known as Galamseyers – from neighboring Burkina Faso.

 

Meet 15-year-old Matilda, a Form 2 pupil of the Kuliya Junior High School in the Kasena Nankana West District.

She narrates how she became pregnant.
“He is a galamsey boy. I asked him to give me money to buy food. In a day he gives me 50 cedis to buy foods for all my family.”

 

These girls, like their other pregnant counterparts, while growing up had great dreams and aspirations to fulfill.
But these dreams have been dashed as the phenomena seem to be getting out of hand.
Schools are getting empty as most of the children who get pregnant are compelled to drop out of school and marry, militating against the re-entry policy of the Ghana Education Service.
This situation has become a nightmare for School authorities and residents.

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Aloah Muniru is the Headteacher of the Tazika/Bagtua Junior High School.

“The galamsey issue is very very bad, it is affecting our studies here or our teaching and learning here because most of the children always leave school and then go for galamsey and they use that money to influence the girls and at the end of it the girls will also become pregnant and then they will leave school.”

 

For the Kasena Nankana West Director of Education, George B. Woyongo, the situation has reached alarming proportions, requiring urgent action.

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“It is affecting education because most of these teenage children who get pregnant, they are unable to concentrate on their academic work. Some of them have had to drop from school even though we are putting in efforts to make them stay at school.”

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