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Neo
1st March 2011, 10:47 PM
The Ghana Education Service (GES) has directed the Ashanti Regional Directorate of Education to investigate the dismissal of 17 students of the Aduman Senior High School (SHS) on suspicion of being pregnant.

According to the GES, its regulation is against the sacking of pregnant students.

A Deputy Director General of the GES, Mr Stephen Adu, said, normally in situations where girls became pregnant, their parents were invited by the school authorities and the parents advised to let the children stay at home until they were delivered of their babies before returning to school.

Reacting to reports that 17 students of the Aduman SHS had been sacked after being found to be pregnant, Mr Adu explained that that action was taken by the school authorities because of health, psychological and social reasons.

In addition, he said, the pregnant girls would have to attend hospital regularly, adding that combining schoolwork and hospital attendance would put a lot of stress on them.

He said although pregnant girls were asked to return to school after delivery, most of them did not return to their schools for fear of being mocked at. He reiterated that the matter was being investigated and gave the assurance that the GES would come up with its decision on the matter later.

Seventeen female students of the Aduman SHS were sacked in February after they had been found to be pregnant during a random pregnancy test at the school.

Two of the girls were in the final year, four in the first year and the rest in their second and third years. Their names were posted on the school notice board to serve as a deterrent to other students. The Headmaster of the school, Mr Joseph Prince Amanfo, could not be reached for his comments.

However, the Ashanti Regional Director of Education, Mr Joseph Kwabena Onyina, confirmed in an interview with the Daily Graphic that the matter had unofficially come before him. He said he had instructed the headmaster of the school to give him a written report on the matter. ďFor now I canít make any further comment because I donít have a detailed report on the matter," he said.

A source close to the Aduman SHS administration told the Daily Graphic that the school authorities decided to undertake the pregnancy test after a female student was recently found to be pregnant.

The idea behind the test, it said, was to prevent future occurrences and ensure that the girls completed their education successfully.

According to the source, during the last test, which was performed by a nurse engaged by the administration, 18 of the girls were found to be pregnant. It said the authorities decided to give the 18 girls the opportunity for another test, with only seven going for it, with one testing negative and the rest positive.

Consequently, the affected students were sacked from the school. The Daily Graphic, however, learnt that the parents of some of the affected students were challenging the school authorities over the decision to sack their children, claiming that the girls were not pregnant.

Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana