NR Minister Worried Over Teenage Pregnancy

Northern Regional Minister, Mr. Shani Alhassan Shaibu addressing participants at the 66th Independence Anniversary Parade in Tamale

The Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Shaibu, has indicated that one
of the challenges that can derail monumental achievements in the education sector is teenage pregnancy amongst school-going girls.

He disclosed that a total number of 183 pregnancy issues (pregnant and nursing mothers) were recorded in the just-ended Basic Education Certificate Examination and West African Senior School Certificate Examination in the region.

“This does not augur well for us. The negative effects of teenage pregnancy include the fact that many young girls especially in rural communities drop out of school. As stakeholders, we need to critically assess the current situation, looking at the gaps in the existing interventions to achieve coherent and sustainable interventions for eliminating teenage pregnancy.”

He called for continuous support in regional, district, and community-level engagements with stakeholders to help reduce and prevent teenage pregnancies and also urged the media to support the dissemination process.

“Our results at BECE and the WASSCE still leave much to be desired and we are looking forward to a major stakeholder forum soon to discuss the issue and to fashion the way forward. To our teachers, I urge them to perform their duties with absolute professionalism. As trainers of future leaders, we expect them to be people with integrity.”

The Northern Regional Minister made this known at the 66th Independence Anniversary Parade in Tamale in the Northern region.

Addressing the gathering at the 66th Independence Anniversary Parade in Tamale, the minister said the good people of the Northern region are enjoying peace which must never be taken for granted.

“The able traditional leadership provided by the Overlord Ndan Ya Naa Abukari II has been supportive in building peace in Dagbon and the region at large.  Other traditional authorities in the region are also doing their part in building the required peace.  All of us will have to support these efforts and recognize that even when we disagree with the actions of authorities, there are laid down channels to follow to address our grievances that will safeguard peace in the area.  We have already paid a huge price for conflicts and enough is enough.”

He lauded the security agencies for their hard work throughout the years which has enabled the people of Dagbon to deal with various infractions that have occurred from time to time.

“The sacrifices and commitment of our men and women in uniform must be recognized and celebrated by all of us. We owe them tons of gratitude for the sleepless nights and inconvenience that we inflict on them.  If we resolve our difference amicably and do not resort to violence, these men and women will also have peace of mind.  I call for closer collaboration amongst us all as stakeholders to achieve the desired goal of peace.”

“Let us also remember that the dividends of progress and development can only be achieved if we have the required peace.  So much is being done by the Government to improve all sectors, agriculture, health, education, roads, transport, poverty alleviation, skills training, etc and it is only a matter of time before the benefits will accrue to us all.”

The Minister noted that the region has not been left out in the development of this country noting that Dagbon has witnessed the asphalting of roads in the Tamale Township, the completion of the Tamale interchange, the commencement of work on the upgrading of Tamale-Yendi-Road and very soon, the commissioning of the Tamale International Airport among other developmental projects.

“ We are also expecting various projects to commence in some of our districts soon under the Social Cohesion Project (SOCO) – Astro turfs, schools, boreholes, toilets, etc.  I emphasize that the dividends of all of these will only be realized if we sustain the peace that we are enjoying.”

He urged the good people of Dagbon to embrace nationalism, patriotism, and sacrifice in their broadest sense for the benefit of national restoration efforts.

“Despite our diverse socio-economic strata, let’s put aside our differences and create a united front for mother Ghana’s progress. For, we are a nation of one people of diverse identity, but connected and bonded with a common purpose.”

FROM Eric Kombat, Tamale