At least 421 Junior High School (JHS) girls got pregnant and could not return to school in January after the long COVID-19 break.
Lamnatu Adam, Executive Director of Songtaba Organisation, said the 421 girls were all final year JHS pupils, according to nationwide data from the Ghana Education Service.
She said this in Tamale during the official launch of Vibrant Village Foundation (VVF) to provide financial support to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to enable them to increase access to quality education for children, especially girls in rural areas.
Besides, VVF would assist these NGOs to increase income and food security for vulnerable people, especially women and persons with disabilities in poor communities through increased access to control over productive resources and income-earning opportunities.
She said girls falling out of school was of serious concern to Songtaba Organisation, adding that the challenge needed to be addressed.
Madam Adam urged stakeholders to partner with Songtaba Organisation to increase awareness in the communities on the Ghana Education Service’s re-entry policy that allowed pregnant girls to return to school after delivery.
She urged parents to assist the girls in caring for the babies so they could return to school to continue their education.
Osman Mohammed, Country Director of VVF, noted that the organisation’s support for local partners was a 12-month project, which started in January and is expected to end in December 2021.
He said the project would support rural communities in under-served regions to get opportunities to thrive.
He said the VVF had so far selected three organisations, including Songtaba Organisation, Pure Trust Social Investors Foundation and Peace for Life, as the first badge of VVF grantees in Ghana to undertake development programmes such as food security, livelihoods and financial wellbeing, health, education, gender, and child protection in communities.
Beneficiaries of the NGOs being supported by VVF lauded the move and upheld the benefits they had derived from the various NGOs.
VVF is an organisation from the United States of America established in 2010 to help communities achieve their development agenda.