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MMCET ends workshop on strategies to reduce teenage pregnancy

MMCET ends workshop on strategies to reduce teenage pregnancy

The Guidance Counseling Department of the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology, Goderich Campus on 8th July 2014 organized a sensitization workshop on teenage pregnancy at the Goderich Community Center in Freetown.

The workshop was to sensitize schools in the peninsula area on strategies to reduce teenage pregnancy.

The Acting Vice Principal and Director of Studies, Milton Margai College of Education and Technology, Goderich Campus, Mrs. Maude Regina Peacock told the pupils that one out of every three girls become pregnant in Sierra Leone articulating that this is educationally a sad story, an economic and social wastage for the country.

According to Mrs. Maude Regina Peacock, the bud from which women spring from must be well-prepared to play its future role as responsible women are not social misfits.

She went on to catalogue the consequences of teenage pregnancy such as fistula stressing that the development of a country is in the hands of women and girls and commended the Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma for efforts to empower women and girls in the country.

The Acting Vice Principal and Director of Studies furthered that President Koroma is at the forefront of women and girls empowerment and recalled last year when the President launched the Campaign Against Teenage Pregnancy maintaining that the workshop is to prepare pupils to confront teenage pregnancy and other challenges in life and urged them to be serious.

She also informed that the visit of the wife of the Vice President of the United States of America to Sierra Leone, Dr. Jill Bilden focuses on the importance of girls’ education and women’s participation in governance, the economy and civil society adding that Dr. Jill Bilden pledged the American Government’s continued commitment to make sure that girls and young women have the tools they need to succeed in life.

The Acting Principal of the college, Dr. Victor Kabia appealed to girls to go through their process of schooling without hiccups as education is a very expensive exercise and appealed to them to concentrate on completing their education.

Earlier in his welcome statement, Mr. James Kamara, Senior Lecturer in the Guidance Counseling Department revealed that it has taken some time since the college organized such an event in the community and disclosed that the college has a cordial relationship with the Goderich community.

According to Mr. Kamara, teenage pregnancy has effect on all including the victim, parents and the community and underscored that the workshop is a guide to prevent the menace informing that from May 2013 to April this year, 35% of women who attend health centers in the community are teenagers, a figure he asserted is alarming and unacceptable.

He further described a teenager as between the ages of 13 and 19 disclosing that 69% of girls under the age of 18 in Goderich has given birth which he maintained is worrying, appealed to pupils to delay sexual intercourse, seek information on sexual reproductive health and talk to their parents on sex.

Giving an overview of the workshop, Rev. Mary Kaiyanday, also Senior Lecturer in the Guidance Counseling Department reiterated that the college always comes to the community to highlight and address various social issues plaguing it and underlined that the awareness raising workshop on teenage pregnancy is for all stakeholders including pupils, parents and religious leaders.

She encouraged the pupils to focus on their education that would in future benefit them, their parents, community and the nation as a whole underscoring that the workshop is to reduce and if possible prevent teenage pregnancy stressing “let girls be girls and not mothers.”

Rev. Mary Kaiyanday went on to give as example successful women who have created impact in society including the Acting Vice Principal of the college, Mrs. Maude Regina Peacock and appealed to boys not to impregnate girls.

Mr. Joseph Vandy, also a Senior Lecturer in the Guidance Counseling Department gave a lesson on life skills, appropriate use of the life skills, knowledge on reproductive health and preventive measures.

Mr. Vandy also outlined the causes and effects of teenage pregnancy and strategies in preventing teenage pregnancy.

Some of the causes of teenage pregnancy are finance and poverty, girls enticing men, lack of effective parental care, early marriage and also dilated on life skills including self-awareness, knowledge, assertiveness as well as practice of safe sex methods.

Other factors are traditional beliefs and practices, negative peer pressure, substance abuse and drugs, little or no knowledge of family planning methods, sex abuse and rape and criminal abortion.

The interactive forum saw pupils and other stakeholders proffering solutions to some of the factors for the menace and also asking questions.

Highlight of the workshop was the pledge by girls not to get impregnated thus contributing to their self-development, family, community and country by studying hard to bring dignity and honor to themselves.

Sumner Kongbap

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