Monday, May 11, 2009

More Pregnant girls wrote their BECE this year at Ghana !!!

For a girl to write the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) with a pot-belly in front of her is not a sin against the gods. It is also pretty legal as it is not against the constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

You can be nine months pregnant and go into the examination hall as your colleagues give you a rousing welcome and thumbs up. You need it under the circumstances.

Of course, there will be a few boos and jeers, but so long as the baby is safe and jolly, you can concentrate on the mathematics paper and do justice to it. It takes a lot of courage for a fully pregnant girl to take up the pen to pave her way to scholarship. In the end it becomes an honor, a personal distinction, a family pride.

This year’s BECE was full of incidents. But none surpasses one which happened many years ago when a pregnant Form Four girl did not experience labour pains until she completed her last paper of the Middle School Leaving Certificate (MSLC) examination. God was on her side!

As soon as she put the last full-stop, she felt a searing pain run through her belly and responded with a sharp cry. Everyone realised that her time was due. She was led into a taxi and soon she put to bed a bouncy baby boy in the hospital.

Some students and pupils, out of curiosity, ignorance and oft plain stupidity mix scholastic pursuits with the pleasure that lies between the thighs.
Others are seduced, some raped (God forbid) and others just feel their friends have long delivered babies and it was time they followed suit.

Indeed in some districts, it is pretty fashionable to be pregnant. If not, why would fifty (50) BECE candidates enter the examination room with their bellies leading the way? It might be a sin against the Holy Spirit, but certainly it is not a criminal offense in modern Ghana.

Some pregnant BECE candidates feel too diffident to venture into the examination hall. They know some of their notorious mates will turn their presence into a side attraction and circus and mock them with all sorts of obscene gestures. So they simply keep away.

After the baby, many girls say goodbye to education and think of what to sell. If the baby’s father is a perpetually struggling carpenter or a tired mason, this girl will have to sell either ‘pure water’, toffees or ‘bofrot’ to fend for the infant.  Sometimes it turns out that the father of the baby is a magician and would keep promising the girl that he’d soon invoke money from the skies like Okomfo Anokye.

The money never gets invoked and the girl has to begin a life of drudgery. Chances are that she’d soon get pregnant again, because the wonderful magician still has his two balls intact.

In some cases, the father of the baby is not known.

The baby is born alright but has a tag - ‘pikinabolo’. It means child without father.

The child might resemble someone in the neighbourhood, but curiously, it also looks like the headmaster of the local JSS. So who is who? Or is it rather the Form 3 teacher whose clothes she washed the last time? Ei!
Strangely enough someone from a village eight miles away comes to name the child. It means this girl is a roving ambassador because the baby doesn’t look like this stranger but once he has also eaten from the honey pot, he is liable and must be saddled with the responsibility.

Who is going to take care of these unborn babies, and when they give birth, who is going to take care of the wome?  Let’s support these teenage mothers to choose life instead of Abortion.

Ghana needs more Abortion education and support to save lives and to help mothers.

Edward Kwakye

Ghana Pro Life Unity Director

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