The Regional School Health Education Programme (SHEP) Coordinator, Ms Alice Ellen Abeere-Inga, who made this known said, in 2015, about 81 BECE candidates were found to be pregnant, whilst five of them were nursing mothers, adding that, the situation was not different in the Senior High Schools.
She entreated the students to concentrate on their studies rather than engaging in early sex, which could jeopardize their future.
The Regional SHEP Coordinator commended the organizer, the Presbyterian Health Service-North (PHS-N) and the sponsors, SIMAVI, a Netherlands based NGO, for organising the debate on ‘Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE)’ for the eight Senior High Schools in the Region selected from the PHS-N project districts
Mr John Alale Abugre, the Projects Director of the Presbyterian Health Services-North, affirmed that reproductive health issues were very key to the Presbyterian Health Service-North and explained that, his outfit, with the support of SIMAVI, was complimenting the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service to ensure that efficient reproductive health service were delivered to Ghanaians, particularly young people.
He said apart from helping to equip the students with sexual reproductive health education, to help curb the spate of teenage pregnancies among them, it would also contribute to sharpening the debate and language skills of the students.
‘Issues of sex should no longer be the preserve of the old folks. All stakeholders including teachers, schools, parents, religious and traditional rulers must get involved in educating the adolescent and empowering them with sexual reproductive health education ‘, Mr Abugri stressed.
Whilst urging the management of the schools to sustain the debate programme, the Director called on the students to disseminate reproductive health information to their colleagues, who were not privileged to be part of the debate.
Mr Felix Dordaa, who coordinated the debate competition, said the PHS-N had plans to make it an annual event. Apart from the organization of the debates on reproductive health in the schools, the Presbyterian Health Services-North had established adolescent reproductive comers in its facilities as well as formed CSE clubs in some selected schools in the region and trained some teachers too.
Speaking for the motion, ‘the inclusion of Comprehensive Sex Education in School curricula; Is it a blessing?’ most of the debaters blamed the ascendency of teenage pregnancies, abortion and HIV/AIDS on sexual abuse.
They underscored the need for the inclusion of CSE in the school curricula of the Junior High, Senior High Schools and Training Colleges.
This, they noted, would help curb the menace of teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases among adolescent, and also help Ghana to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The schools that participated in the debate are Kongo Senior High, Bolgatanga Senior High, Bawku Senior High, Bawku Senior High Technical, Bawku Technical,Tempane Senior High and Sandema Senior High Schools and Sandema Senior High Technical.
The Sandema Senior High Technical School emerged winners and won a 48 inch Samsung Plasma Television set whilst Tempane Senior High School placed second and got a 40 inch Samsung Plasma Television set.
All participating schools got two footballs, three Oxford English Dictionaries and 30 branded Polo Shirts. Also, all the 24 debaters from the eight schools were each presented with a school bag, Integrated Science Series and Core Mathematics series Text books, scientific calculator and five note books each.