Member of Parliament for North Dayi Constituency, Hon. Joycelyn Tetteh, has urged students of Botoko D.A. JHS in the Volta Region to step up and demonstrate they can make a difference as teenagers.
She noted that while the number of teenage maladies continues to grow by the day, the students, particularly the teenage girls, need to chart a course quite different from the ones that has gotten many of their peers pregnant.
According to her, no successful or influential person started from the top and indicated that such people were once dependent young children too and underscored that perseverance and diligence have made all the difference in their lives and urged the students to set their visions above the immediate attractions and focus on what they wish to become in the long term.
Hon Joycelyn Tetteh gave the advice when students and teachers of the Botoko D.A. JHS called on her in Parliament.
She advised them to be model students not only for their colleagues in school but also their peers at home and the entire Volta Region and leave brighter prints for them to follow.
The MP earlier delivered a statement on the floor of the House on teenage pregnancies in the North Dayi District and Ghana general and appealed for innovative ways to prevent young people, particularly teenage girls from getting pregnant.
According to her, while such innovations are being devised, other ways of integrating pregnant girls into schools when they deliver must be sought.
She averred that every effort to get girls back to school after delivery is as important as efforts at preventing the pregnancy in the first place.
The pregnant teenager, she indicated, is not the problem but the factors that lead to the pregnancy.
She lamented that in almost every constituency a growing number of teenage girls are getting pregnant and having to prematurely assume the role and responsibility of adults and noted that the major cause of maternal mortality is teenage pregnancy because the bodies of teenage girls are not well developed and matured to accommodate a baby.
She said, “Teenage pregnancy also results in most affected girls dropping out of school, becoming unskilled and unfit for the labour market, even as they prepare to become mothers.”
“This double jeopardy of being an unskilled teenager with a responsibility of taking care of a young requires immediate and relevant national policy to halt the worrying trend in North Dayi and beyond.”
Hon. Joycelyn Tetteh argued that time is right for sex education to be prioritized and taught in basic schools and for parents to take keen interest in the extracurricular activities of their children, especially the teenagers.
“We must begin as a country to teach safe sex practices amongst the youth instead of assuming that our children are ignorant of sex as an act and sexuality as a topic,” she stated.
She stressed that condom use must be encouraged while preaching the abstinence desired by both parents and teachers, and added that the efforts required to address this social problem can only be effective if it is multi-faceted.
By Osumanu Al-Hassanfirstname.lastname@example.org