He said currently, the Pre-Tertiary Education Act, 2020 (Act 1049) which went through parliament and was assented to by the President, allowed pregnant schoolgirls who delivered to come and re-enter to complete school.
“The Pre-tertiary Education Act 2020 ensures that girls who got pregnant and delivered come back to school and nothing should be a barrier for them,” he stressed.
Rev. Bilson said the Act provided for a pre-tertiary education system and an educational system to produce individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills and values to become functional and produce citizens for national development.
He was addressing teachers and schoolgirls in the basic and SHSs as part of this year’s International Day of the Girl-Child celebration at Somanya, the Yilo Krobo Municipal capital.
The programme, which was organised by the Yilo Krobo Municipal GNAT Ladies Society in collaboration with the Yilo Krobo Municipal Education Directorate was on the theme: “Our time is now, our rights our future.”
The programme was sponsored by Indomie and the Aheto Family — Elder Moses Aheto and Mercy Aheto of the Church of Pentecost, Ashailey Botwe.
Earlier in the day, the girls in the schools marched through the principal streets of Somanya with placards to create awareness of the celebration, some of which read, “I want to be in school and not a mother”, “Parents be friends to your girl-child”, “Please help me stay in school,” “Girl-child education is important” and “Education is the most purposeful weapon”.
Rev. Bilson said the Ministry of Education and the district assemblies would provide and ensure, among other things, that the environment created for basic education was user-friendly and met the requirements of such children to be admitted to schools.
According to the director, it was realised that many of the girls who got pregnant and delivered had not reported back to school as a result of some heads and teachers not admitting such victims back.
He said statistics available at the Ghana Education Service (GES) in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic period, indicated that 109, 865 girls got pregnant.
Turning to the girls, Rev. Bilson, stressed that even though the policy was in force, it did not permit schoolgirls to go about getting pregnant, adding, “if you do so, you are harming your future.
A guest of honour, Grace Gakpetor of the Church of Pentecost, Agomanya area, told the girls that they had roles to play for their future development and entreated them to say no to sexual advances from the opposite sex for them to secure their future.
The GNAT Secretary for Birim North, Matilda Amewodey, in a statement, said the GNAT Ladies Society, being teachers, were role models to the girls in the various schools where they taught and urged them to ensure that they mentored and nurtured the girls to become useful to themselves and society at large.
A representative of the Yilo Krobo Paramount Queen Mother, Manye Awo Kosi Otinor I, who chaired the function asked the girl-child to be assertive and walk away from boys and men who would like to destroy their future if they had sex with them.
A student from Sra Presbyterian Junior High School, Blessing Afful, thanked the organisers on behalf of her schoolmates for the programme, which made them learn many things to guide them in life.
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