Girls who become pregnant while in school can now continue to attend class until they give birth.
They are still free to continue their education after delivery. Most schools now have breastfeeding mothers in their classrooms. These girls always come along with caregivers who will be keeping the children while they are in class. She will come out from time to time to breastfeed the child and return to class.
This was unheard of years ago but is now allowed.
This, the Ghana education service says, is a way of stopping illegal abortions. To discourage illegal abortions, Mrs. Alberta Ayeh, Central Regional Early Childhood Education Coordinator, said Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) clubs have been established in schools.
“We want to do this to secure the future of these children. We teach them that they have the chance to come to school even if they are pregnant and we guide them through everything else they need to know. We will not sit and lose children to unsafe abortions,” she added.
She stated this at the first quarter regional child protection committee meeting. The meeting, called at the instance of the Department of Children under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, was sponsored by UNICEF.
Is this not encouraging others to copy?
While we think that a child’s education should not be truncated because she has gotten pregnant, the issue of keeping these pregnant girls in our schools can also encourage other girls to play loose and get pregnant. They will think that they will still get a second chance to go to school and so will not refrain from doing certain things.
These students who are either pregnant or breastfeeding while in school are not getting it easy.
They will have to put in extra effort if they want to make it academically. This is because pregnancy and child care are exhausting tasks, especially for girls of that age.
There has been a rise in pregnancy cases in our schools, and this is disturbing. We must strike a balance so that we can maintain the rights of others while at the same time not be seen as working to expose others to certain behaviors.