of the five pregnant BECE candidates at the District Assembly Basic School
Centre at Ve-Golokuati in the Afadzato South District of the Volta Region went
into labour while writing the last paper on Friday.
The 17-year-old girl was rushed
to the local clinic where she gave birth safely.
However, she was unable to
return to the centre to finish the paper in social studies which was a core
The other four, aged between 15
and 18, were able to write all their papers without any snag.
The District Director of
Education, Nana Kugbeadzor-Bakateyi II, confirmed the story to the Ghanaian Times here on Saturday, adding that she would have to re-write that
particular paper next year.
Kugbeador-Bakateyi could not substantiate claims by local
residents that the five boys who impregnated the girls, were also among the
candidates at the same examination centre.
The District Director of
Education revealed that last year, 35 pregnant girls and nursing mothers were
among the 1,200 candidates who sat for the BECE in the district.
This year, 1,158 candidates sat
for the examinations in the district.
Nana Kugbeadzor-Bakateyi II
attributed the drastic drop in the number of pregnant candidates this year to
community sensitisation programmes and various club activities organised for
the students by the district directorate of the Ghana Education Service (GES),
to focus on their studies and abstain from sex.
“We also held a three-day
pre-examination grooming workshop for them to prepare them for the BECE,”she told the Ghanaian Times.
Nana Kugbeadzor-Bakateyi explained
that the GES now maintains a policy which allows pregnant candidates to remain
in school to finish their studies and sit for the final examinations.
“This is because turning them
away from the examination centres could be grave and irreparable,” Nana
To curb the pregnancy trend
among examination candidates, she said that the district education directorate
was making vigorous efforts to create a girls’ model school in the area with
greater emphasis on the abstinence from pre-marital sex.
When contacted, Madam Enyonam
Afi Amafuga, Volta Regional Director of Education, said that despite the GES
policy not to exclude pregnant candidates from school and examination halls,
those with pregnancy complications would be advised to leave school and seek
early medical attention.
Meanwhile, Most Rev. Emmanuel
Kofi Fianu, Catholic Bishop of Ho, has said that the GES policy to maintain
pregnant girls in school and allow them to write the final examinations was
never the best.
“Pregnant girls in school will
definitely be a bad influence on their mates,” he said.
FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, VE-GOLOKUATI
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