ONE of the five pregnant BECE candidates at the District Assembly Basic School Centre at Ve-Golokuati in the Afadzato South District of the Volta Region went into labour while writing the last paper on Friday.
The 17-year-old girl was rushed to the local clinic where she gave birth safely.
However, she was unable to return to the centre to finish the paper in social studies which was a core subject.
The other four, aged between 15 and 18, were able to write all their papers without any snag.
The District Director of Education, Nana Kugbeadzor-Bakateyi II, confirmed the story to the Ghanaian Times here on Saturday, adding that she would have to re-write that particular paper next year.
Nana Kugbeador-Bakateyi could not substantiate claims by local residents that the five boys who impregnated the girls, were also among the candidates at the same examination centre.
The District Director of Education revealed that last year, 35 pregnant girls and nursing mothers were among the 1,200 candidates who sat for the BECE in the district.
This year, 1,158 candidates sat for the examinations in the district.
Nana Kugbeadzor-Bakateyi II attributed the drastic drop in the number of pregnant candidates this year to community sensitisation programmes and various club activities organised for the students by the district directorate of the Ghana Education Service (GES), to focus on their studies and abstain from sex.
“We also held a three-day pre-examination grooming workshop for them to prepare them for the BECE,”she told the Ghanaian Times.
Nana Kugbeadzor-Bakateyi explained that the GES now maintains a policy which allows pregnant candidates to remain in school to finish their studies and sit for the final examinations.
“This is because turning them away from the examination centres could be grave and irreparable,” Nana Kugbeadzor-Bakateyi stated.
To curb the pregnancy trend among examination candidates, she said that the district education directorate was making vigorous efforts to create a girls’ model school in the area with greater emphasis on the abstinence from pre-marital sex.
When contacted, Madam Enyonam Afi Amafuga, Volta Regional Director of Education, said that despite the GES policy not to exclude pregnant candidates from school and examination halls, those with pregnancy complications would be advised to leave school and seek early medical attention.
Meanwhile, Most Rev. Emmanuel Kofi Fianu, Catholic Bishop of Ho, has said that the GES policy to maintain pregnant girls in school and allow them to write the final examinations was never the best.
“Pregnant girls in school will definitely be a bad influence on their mates,” he said.
FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, VE-GOLOKUATI