A total of 35 Senior High School (SHS) students in the Suhum Municipality of the Eastern Region have been delivered of babies while seven are heavily pregnant.
The pregnancies and the deliveries occurred between March 2020 and April 2021 in three SHSs.
Islamic Girls SHS recorded 15 deliveries and four pregnancies. Suhum Technical Senior High Schools also recorded eight deliveries and pregnancies while Suhum Presbyterian Senior High School recorded two deliveries and two pregnancies.
The Suhum Municipal Director of Education, Esther Quaye, said this during the inauguration of the ‘Municipal Advocacy Platform for Back to School Campaign Taskforce’ instituted to ensure that school dropouts return to school after the long closure of schools as a result of Covid-19.
The Municipal Education Director said at the basic level, five pupils ages 12 and 20 years were impregnated during the period.
They include 12 and 13-year-old class four and class six pupils respectively while the rest are Junior High School pupils.
Though there were concerns that the implementation of the double-track system as part of the Free Senior High School Policy increased the risk vulnerability of female students, the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 led to a lockdown and 10 months closure of schools worsened the menace.
More than 100,000 teenage pregnancies were recorded nationwide in 2020.
The Municipal Education Director stated that though there is the likelihood that some pupils have dropped out of school in the Suhum Municipality to engage in other economic activities such as Okada, hawking, selling on the street among others, evidence shows that, public basic schools in the municipality have seen an increase in enrollment as some parents have withdrawn their children from private schools to public schools.
She stated that total enrolment in all 68 public Kindergartens in the municipality has increased from 4,169 in March 2021 to 4,466 in May 2021. Again, enrolment in all 78 public primary schools has risen from 13,088 to 13,543. At the Junior High School level enrolment also saw an increase during the same period from 5,660 to 6,149.