Sexual activeness among basic school girls in the Ashanti Region has led to many of them getting pregnant and their academic dreams shattered.

Mrs Emma Awateng-Mensah, the Regional Girls’ Education Officer, termed the situation as deeply disturbing and said every effort must be made to tackle it head-on.

She told the Ghana News Agency that over the past four years a total of 357 girls could not write the Basic Education Certificate Examination for the simple reason of having become pregnant.

These are teenage girls from 13 and 16 years and the situation should give cause for everybody to worry, she said.

Mrs Awateng-Mensah blamed irresponsible parenting for what is happening, saying, parents needed to be vigilant and spend quality time with the adolescent girls in counselling them.

She asked parents to shield their children from bad peer influence and follow with keen interest whatever they do on the internet, chat platforms and on the mobile phone.

“Nobody should discount the powerful influence that movies and television programmes meant for adults could have on children – the curiosity and the tendency to practice what they see.”

She said as part of measures by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to reverse the trend, girls’ clubs are being formed in basic and senior high schools in the region to provide the pupils with adequate sex education, build their self-esteem and actively engage them to put their time to profitable use.

Mrs Awateng-Mensah appealed to community leaders and other stakeholders to combine efforts to promote girl-child education and discourage them from early sex.

She encouraged teenage mothers to take advantage of the system introduced by the GES, which gives opportunity for their re-entry into the school system to complete their basic education and climb further the educational ladder.