The Suhum Municipal Director of Education, Esther Quaye, has attributed the high rise in pregnancy among students in the municipality to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 which led to a lockdown and 10 months closure of schools.
She indicated that even though there were concerns that the implementation of the double-track system as part of the Free Senior High School Policy increased the risk vulnerability of female students, the pandemic and the long school break worsened the menace.
During the inauguration of the ‘Municipal Advocacy Platform for Back to School campaign taskforce’ instituted to ensure that school dropouts return to school, the Municipal Education Director disclosed that a total of 35 Senior High School students in Suhum Municipality in the Eastern region delivered while seven are heavily pregnant.
The schools included; Islamic Girls Senior High School which recorded 15 deliveries and 4 pregnancies. Suhum Technical Senior High Schools (SUTESCO) also recorded 8 deliveries and pregnancies while Suhum Presbyterian Senior High School (PRESEC) recorded two (2) deliveries and 2 pregnancies.
The Municipal Education director stated that, even though there is the likelihood that some pupils have dropped out of school in the Suhum Municipality to engage in other economic activities such as Okada, hawking, selling on the streets, immoral activities among others, evidence shows that, Public basic schools in the municipality have seen an increase in enrollment as some parents have withdrawn their children from Private Schools to Public schools.
She stated that total enrolment in all 68 public Kindergartens in the municipality has increased from 4169 in March 2021 to 4,466 in May 2021. Again, enrolment in all 78 public primary schools has risen from 13,088 to 13,543. At the Junior High School, level enrolment also saw an increase during the same period from 566o to 6149.