The Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, Peter Nortsu-Kotor has revealed that the Girl Child Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service (GES) furnished the Minority with the information that the double-track system has caused a lot of teenage pregnancies among female students.
The Member of Parliament for Akatsi North Constituency in the Volta Region said he does not want to create alarm but the figure cuts across the entire nation.
“We will not want to be alarming so we have given the bulk figure and is correct figure. Even if I have the regional breakdown, I will not want to put it across. It is across all the 16-regions,” the MP added.
The Minority in Parliament on Wednesday alleged that the double-track system being implemented by the Education Ministry has caused a lot of teenage pregnancies among female students nationwide.
According to the Minority, over 1,400 female students have been impregnated since the double-track system was implemented in September 2018.
The NDC MPs are demanding measures to immediately phase out the double-track system which they said is not inuring to the benefit of the students.
Explaining further on Onua FM’s Yen Sempa on Thursday hosted by Bright Kwasi Asempa, Mr. Nortsu-Kotor said “the Girl Child Education Unit of the GES gave us the information. We did not make up the figure”.
He said “14-15year old girls living on their own are exposed to sexual harassment so we are bringing it to the knowledge of the government”.
Mr. Nortsu-Kotor said “the long semester breaks are the major causes of teenage pregnancies; students spend eight weeks at school and the same length of time at home. The double-track system…is not helping in the delivery of quality education in our senior high schools, students are made to go on long vacations after spending a few days in school, and sometimes the reopening date for one track is postponed to the disadvantage of parents”.
Asked if it was the GES that said the double-track is the cause of the pregnancies, the MP explained, “the GES did not say the double-track system caused the teenage pregnancies but this is our observation out of the data which was given to us by the GES”.
“The programme is good, we all admit, but if our girls are getting pregnant in good numbers every year, then it needs to be looked at”, he explained.
Teenage pregnancies in Akatsi North Constituency
He said about “15 girls of school going age got pregnant under the year under review”, which he said is “alarming”.
“I contacted the girl child education unit and they confirmed so I raised funds from my Common Fund for sensitization exercise in my constituency and I have promised that I will do this every year”.
He asked the GES to explain to Ghanaians what transpired in the year under review.
“I will be surprised if the GES will come out to deny this figure”.