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Statistics from the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Education Directorate has revealed 721 senior high school students have dropped out of school so far in the 2021/2022 academic year.

This is an increment from the 102 students who dropped out of school in 2020/2021.

For the same academic year, 67 played truant after registering for the WASSCE as compared to 362 students who have so far dropped out this year.

19 girls became pregnant during the last calendar as compared to 35 recorded so far in this academic year which has not ended yet.

This was disclosed by the Metro Director of Education, Sally Nelly Coleman, in her address at a meeting with the media on the campaign for youth-oriented and gender sensitive topics in Sekondi.

Sally Nelly Coleman is Director of Education at the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis

The meeting forms part of stakeholders’ engagement on these topics such as irregular migration, illicit use of drugs, child prostitution, gender-based violence, adolescent reproductive health and teenage pregnancy in line with the implementation of the Twin-Cities in Sustainable Partnership Project, TCSPP.

The meeting was aimed at providing a platform to share information and solicit inputs from stakeholders on the topics.

At the basic level, a total of 97 Junior High School students played truant in school after registering for the BECE in the 2020/2021 academic year. This is compared to the 83 so far in this 2021/2022 academic year. 26 girls became pregnant as compared to the 28 so far this year whilst 24 dropped out of school last academic year as compared to the 32 so far this year.

Children of basic school going age engaging in an economic activity

The Metro Education Director who was concerned about the increasing numbers of the statistics blamed the narrative on factors such as the confidence of the students that they cannot be sacked and parents shirking their responsibilities to their children.

Many of the children culpable in the statistics were from middle to high income homes.

She believes society needs re-orientation, especially in relation to children. According to her, many children show different characters at home and out of home and there is the need for parents to get closer to their children especially in this technological age to be able to guide them.

“Be your child’s friend, especially on social media so that you will at least get a hint of what she’s up to and the kind of friends she is engaging with”, she said.

She also added her voice to the call for the abolition of all forms of taxes on sanitary pads as according to her, many girls fall victim in their bid to get money to buy pads.

The TCSPP is a 3-year project being implemented in the cities of Sekondi Takoradi and Palermo in Italy. It is funded by the European Union. The project aims at enhancing the capacity of the city authorities to address the challenges of urban sprawl, climate change and inadequate social safety nets for vulnerable populations within the metropolis.

“We call on the media and all stakeholders to play their role effectively,” she urged.

By Ewurama Smith|ConnectFM||Ghana