Teenage pregnancy in Central Region: 12,000 plus students in the Central Region alone were impregnated, and about 300 teachers were involved.
Are teachers doing more harm than good to their students? Reports have indicated that teachers in the Central Region have been named among the top groups of people who impregnated teenage girls in the area in 2016.
This was revealed at the 2016 Ghana Health Service (GHS) performance review event held at the University of Cape Coast. According to the report, out of the 12,048 pregnant young girls in the region in 2016, up to 301 of them are said to have been impregnated by teachers in the region.
Not just the teachers, drivers, small-scale miners, and small-scale farmers are also among the top culprits responsible for teenage pregnancy in Central Region. The rate of teenage pregnancy in the region which the GHS described as “unacceptably high,” indeed raises cause for alarm concerning the level of damage done in the lives of the girls affected.
It came to light in the study that out of the 12,048 young girls who got pregnant in the region, small-scale farmers were responsible for 986 (19.3 percent) of them, while drivers were responsible for 676 (13.2 percent). The study also revealed that Small-scale miners were responsible for 397 (7.8 percent) of those pregnancies, while unemployed men were responsible for 353 (6.9 percent).
For that of the teachers, in 301 cases [5.9 percent], primary and secondary school teachers who are supposed to be nurturing the future leaders were responsible for the pregnancies.
It becomes even more alarming, considering the fact that a good percentage of the girls do not know the whereabouts nor the respective occupations of these men. It was however said that an improvement was recorded, as the figures indicated a decline from what is previously obtainable. For instance, the figure for teenage pregnancy in Central Region stood at 13,355 in 2014.
How can the problem be alleviated?
The tremendously high rate of teenage pregnancy has been a long lasting issue and a seemingly indelible problem in the society. The saddening part of the situation is that this menace has also found its way into schools, where young students are supposed to be educated and taught to be disciplined and decent.
According to David Ofori-Acheampong, General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the association has organized various sensitization programs aimed at enlightening teachers on the consequences of indulging in indecent relations with students. He lamented that authorities have been sensitizing teachers on the fact that engaging in such acts is unethical and could lead to the dismissal of culprits.
But this seems to be falling on deaf ears, as teenage pregnancy continues to prevail in schools. The GNAT general secretary said authorities are shocked as to why the teachers would go against teaching ethics; and going as far as impregnating young girls.
Speaking on Accra 100.5 FM on Friday February 24, Mr. Ofori-Acheampong expressed disappointment over the alarming rate which he said ought to have abated, considering the constant sensitization of teachers. The GNAT general secretary hinted at the association’s move towards getting the necessary details of the cases, to help fish out the culprits.
Education is not only obtained in schools; parents have been asked to educate their children on the dynamics of pre-marital sexual relationships. This will help in curbing the problem of teenage pregnancy which has so much engulfed almost all parts of the country.