Tamale, June 12, GNA - Dr Peter Attafuah, Northern Regional Director of Education has disclosed that about 972 candidates in the Northern region could not write the 2020 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the region.
He said out of the 972 candidates, 522 were girls with 113 pregnant.
The Regional Director of Education attributed the failure to the long closure of schools resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Attafuah made the disclosure at a regional level advocacy meeting that assembled key stakeholders in education to support the delivery of Reproductive Health Education (RHE) project phase II funded by UNESCO in the Northern region.
The event, organised by Norsaac in Tamale, was to outdoor the 12-month duration project to regional stakeholders and to solicit their support for the implementation of the project, which was on adolescent reproductive health and targeting teenage pregnancy.
Dr Attafuah also highlighted the situation of absentees at the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in 2020 and indicated that 111 candidates including 50 girls out of which 14 of them were pregnant could not write the exams.
The Regional Director said his outfit commenced a programme to impact the back to school advocacy campaign since schools re-opened in January this year to retain more pupils in school.
Dr Attafuah expressed concern about the number of children that had not reported to the classroom following the long closure of schools occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
He said some of the students could not return to school following the long break, apprenticeship options they took, and child marriages and said the GES in collaboration with other stakeholders in education worked to relocate them to their communities to return to school.
Madam Abiba Iddi, Regional Public Health Nurse at Northern Regional Health Directorate, revealed that maternal mortality rate in 2020 reduced to 73 percent from 87 percent in 2019 in the region and attributed it to awareness creation on reproductive health issues.
She said the region needed more sensitisation programmes and quality resources in the health sector to end maternal mortality, and suggested intensified monitoring, coaching and supervisory visits to health facilities to ensure that the right things were done to save lives.
She called on stakeholders in the health sector to help resource health facilities in the region to improve the quality of maternal cases to enhance safe delivery.
Mr Mohammed Sumaila, the Project Manager of NORSAAC said cases of teenage pregnancy was alarming in northern Ghana and called for holistic strategies to address the phenomenon.
He said Norsaac was implementing the RHE project in three districts in the North East and Northern regions in partnership with GES and other stakeholders to adopt new strategies to reduce teenage pregnancy and encourage gender equalities in Northern Ghana.