…PAN urges gov’t
February 2, 2016 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
Executive Director of Patriotic Advocacy Network (PAN) has recommended that the Government of Sierra Leone, through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, include sex education in the secondary school curriculum.
Ansumana Keita was speaking Saturday (30 January) during the launch of a teenage pregnancy report titled “The Demise of Teenage Pregnancy” at the St. Joseph’s Secondary School hall in Freetown.
Keita said introducing sex education in schools could help to minimise teenage pregnancy as pupils would be orientated to abstain from sex or learn how to use preventive measures.
The report also recommends that the government should enforce laws relating to the protection of children’s right and that guardian counseling departments should be established in schools across the country.
PAN commenced the anti-teenage pregnancy campaign last year after several organisations reported a surge in teen pregnancy rate in the country. Over 500 pupils were reported pregnant during the Ebola outbreak and were not allowed back in school to write their examinations when schools re-opened last year.
“The way teenage pregnancy is increasing will someday affect all sectors of life if not tackled,” said Keita, adding that poverty, peer influence, poor parental policing, unethical dress, and unsatisfied mind are some of the major causes of underage pregnancy.
He said PAN has ten chapters in secondary schools within the Freetown municipality and that they would continue to establish chapters in other schools, adding that they have been able to capture the attention of girls to abstain from sex through chapters established in various schools.
PAN’s Media and Outreach Coordinator, Sheku Kelfala Fofanah, revealed that they developed questionnaires which were filled by victims and councilors in various communities, noting that a copy of the report would be sent to all secondary schools in Freetown and the Ministry of Education.