A total of 473 girls in the Central Region, who were either pregnant or breastfeeding, have returned to school.
A representative of the National Girls Education Unit (GEU) of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mrs Philomena Panyin Buckman, who revealed this, said the achievement was made through the efforts of the Regional Advocacy Campaign Team.
The team was formed to sensitise duty bearers and well-meaning stakeholders on the importance of allowing children of school-going age, get back to their respective classrooms to continue their academic work.
Mrs Buckman was speaking at the review of the ‘back to school campaign’ project carried out last year, by the Advocacy Campaign Team in the various districts in the region, funded by UNICEF.
She indicated that the team was also formed as part of intervention by the GES to ensure the return of all pre-tertiary students, especially pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, and to make them gain interest in continuing their education to higher heights.
Commending the team for the good work done, Mrs Buckman stated; “we are seeing results because you availed yourself to be used, we are so proud of you and we know through your help, we will achieve more.”
She urged them to continue their advocacy and emphasise the ‘Pregnancy Re-entry Policy’ instituted for pregnant school girls not to abandon the classroom.
“We still have a good number of these girls on the streets, some have engaged in economic activities and we need to bring them all back to their classrooms,“ she added.
Mrs Buckman underscored the need for Headteachers, and especially parents to assist in facilitating re-entry for young mothers or pregnant students.
With regard to the free Senior High School (SHS), she said pregnant school girls must report to the school of placement, provide reliable telephone contact, and if possible return immediately to school after childbirth.
On some strategies used to ensure the return of these students, Mr Francis Eyison, representative of the Regional Advocacy Team, said some donations were made to assist the needy with educational materials and sensitize teachers and pupils to shun stigmatization, while using differential teaching methods to meet the needs of all among others.
He further urged parents and caregivers to also assist by taking care of their grandchildren to lessen the burden of young mothers and to help ignite their interest in joining their colleagues in the classroom.