The Upper West Regional Children Parliament has called for effective and comprehensive sexuality and menstrual hygiene education for school children to enable girls stay in school for high educational laurels.
It said lack of such education for them made them prone to teenage pregnancy and their inability to manage their menstrual period, which it said was a major setback in their education.
Ms Salima Diedong, the Majority Leader of the House, made the call in Wa when the leadership called on the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr. Hafoiz Bin Salih.
The visit was to make known to the minister some challenges impeding the holistic development of children in the region and to seek his blessing and support in the running of the activities of the Parliament for the betterment of children in the region and the country at large.
Some other concerns the Parliament identified included the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s education and election 2020 and its possible repercussions on the development of children.
“Some teenage mothers do not return to school after delivering because they fear to be humiliated by both teachers and friends. Some of the girls who are menstruating have no knowledge about menstruation and they end up embarrassing themselves. Others stop school when they are menstruating”, she explained.
She advocated support for girls by providing them with sanitary napkins as some girls were unable to afford those essential materials, compelling them to stay at home during menstrual periods.
Madam Diedong commended the government for introducing the E-learning initiative during the COVID-19 school closedown but observed that it was disadvantageous to some children.
She explained that some children did not have internet access in their localities, while others did not also have the required gadgets and the skills to participate in those E-learning activities.
The Majority Leader appealed to the government to inculcate E-learning into the educational curricular to enable the children to be abreast with the technology.
On her part, Madam Muhasinah Yelimaala Ibrahim, the Minority Leader of the Children Parliament, noted that the COVID-19 school closedown posed grave risk to children, particularly girls, as they were proned to teenage pregnancy and early marriage.
She said there was the need for pragmatic measures and interventions by the government, international development partners and the private sector to protect the interest of children, while they were at home to prevent them from terminating their education.
The Upper West Regional Children Parliament was the initiative of Pollie Kids, a youth group in Wa, to give children in the region the opportunity to develop their intellect and to advocate their welfare.
Dr Salih commended the leadership of the House for the good work they were doing and assured them of his support to sustain the House.