General News of Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Source: citifmonline

17 Pregnant SHS Students Dismissed

Seventeen (17) pregnant students of Aduman Senior High School in the Afigya Kwabre District of the Ashanti Region have been sacked by the Headmaster.

The Headmaster sent the 17 girls home after nurses confirmed they were all pregnant.

The Headmaster, according to Citi News sources, invited nurses to conduct the pregnancy test on all the girls in the school after suspecting that some of the girls were pregnant.

The Headmaster has confirmed the story to Citi News but refused to comment on record, adding that the action was long overdue.

According to him, the tests should have been conducted in 2010 but certain contingencies prevented that from happening.

He claims the pregnancy tests were conducted with the consent of the Parent Teacher Association of the School.

However, a Human Rights activist and legal practitioner, Nana Oye Lithur says the action taken by the Headmaster of the school is completely wrong and a violation on the reproductive right of the girls.

According to Nana Oye Lithur, the Headmaster of the school had no right to conduct pregnancy tests on the students leading to their dismissal.

Speaking to Citi News on Monday, February 28, Nana Oye Lithur opined that Ghana's law allows females to have sex at age sixteen and therefore the girls, if above age sixteen, have every right to stay in school once their pregnancy does not conflict with their academic performance.

She described as unfortunate, that a total of seventeen girls could be impregnated while still in Senior High School, adding however that their being pregnant does not warrant their dismissal.

“Definitely what the school has done is very wrong, it is a violation of their reproductive and health rights. It is a violation of their rights to education. The law allows us to have sex at age sixteen and so if somebody has had sex at age sixteen why must that person be dismissed from an institution”.

She however urged government to put in place measures to ensure that women who find themselves in such unfortunate situations would be assisted to gain education to contribute to the development of the nation.