Dambai (V/R), Sept 10, GNA - Mr Patrick Charty Jilima, Krachi East Municipal Chief Executive, says the Assembly will soon initiate programmes to sensitise parents, opinion leaders and communities on the importance of girl- education.
He said this would help reduce the incidence of child marriage, teenage pregnancy and school dropouts from 37.3 per cent in 2016 to 15 per cent by the end of 2018.
Mr Jilima said this at the 2018 edition of Girls Vacation Camp at Dambai in the Krachi East Municipality.
The Camp is an initiative organised by the Ghana Education Service (GES), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) under the Better Life for Girls (BLG) Project.
The five-day event, which registered 180 girls within 36 schools in Krachi East, was held under the theme: “Improving Girls’ Completion of Junior High School; The Role of Girls”.
The objectives of the Camp include, addressing the challenges associated with retention of girls in school and to appreciate the importance of continuing their education to the highest possible level.
Activities include organising tutorials in basic science, mathematics and English using participatory approaches, exposing the girls on hands-on skills that would be valuable in the future and organizing role model interaction and forum to enable girls learn and share experience.
Mr Jilima said it is an undeniable fact that sometimes women in high positions do better than males, however, it was very unfortunate that in the face of abundant civilization, our society still made females feel less important compared to males.
He said the fight against this social canker could only be eliminated when gender is strengthened to be at the same level of the educational ladder.
Mr Jilima said the effects of negative practices such as child marriage, child-prostitution, girl-child-labour, female genital mutilation and many others, constitute the barriers that inhibit the progress of these young girls.
He said considering the moral decadence of society today, the Girls Camp initiative was a step in the right direction since it aims at protecting and educating the girls against teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Mr Jilima, who commended the GES, UNICEF and KOICA for having Krachi East at heart and selecting Dambai as one of the centres for this year’s Girls’ Camp, also tasked the girls to take full advantage of the opportunity to learn something new and as well aspire for greatness.
Madam Lucy Yaa Mansa Opoku, the Krachi East Municipal Girls’ Education Officer, said research has shown that the girls usually start well from kindergarten but getting to primary and Junior High School (JHS), they drop out due to pregnancy.
She said research also indicates that the cause of this pregnancy was from the parents and secondly the children themselves with much emphasis on peer pressure, adding that “another major challenge has been renting of houses for the girls from outside the Dambai town”.
Madam Opoku said these girls come to stay on their own without any supervision and live their lives unchecked.
She said some parents even after renting for them fail to send them foodstuffs and when the children are handicapped they go into sexual activities hence the rise in teenage pregnancies.
Madam Opoku said through the support from OXFAM, the Municipal Assembly, the Member of Parliament for Krachi East and other stakeholders; starting from this academic year, there would be a model school for JHS students especially those from outside the Dambai town.
She said this would cater for them and with an objective of helping them to complete JHS, adding that “they will be in the school, learn and when is time for holidays they go to their parents”.
Madam Opoku said there is the need for parents and the Municipality to support them get children in school to help curb teenage pregnancy in the area.GNA