The Mfantseman Municipal Assembly has banned discotheques and leavers jam in the municipality.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the area, Mr Kenneth Essuman, who made this known at an advocacy meeting with traditional councils and family heads at Mankessim last Wednesday, expressed concern about how “teenagers who are about to begin their education will gather in some dark alleys and engage in immoral activities and call themselves ‘leavers’.”
The programme was sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to spearhead advocacy on teenage pregnancy, sexual and gender-based violence and child marriage in the region.
“What are they leaving, basic education? So, what will those who complete tertiary education do? Jump from the last floor of their hostel,” the furious MCE stated.
He recommended a total ban on all leavers jams across the country to stem the alarming rate of teenage pregnancy and child marriages in the country and urged traditional leaders to be the strong advocates for change.
Mr Essuman said a bar operator was recently summoned by the assembly for making his facilities available for the young boys and girls to engage in immoral behaviour at night.
He called on the traditional leaders not to settle rape cases at home but direct such incidents to the appropriate law quarters for redress.
He said the assembly spent GH¢18,000 in transporting Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates to their various centres throughout the period of writing their examination last academic year.
He added that the municipality took all those steps to guarantee the future of the young ones through education and urged them to reciprocate the gesture by being serious with their studies.
The Regional Director of the Department of Gender, Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe, said the region was plagued with the incidence of child marriage mainly as a result of teenage pregnancy.
It is estimated that one out of every three girls (31.2 per cent) in the region either married or cohabits before age 18.
The situation, Mrs Kpe intimated, could not auger well for the human resource development of the families, communities, regions and the country as a whole.
She stated that “it does not only affect the career prospect of the girls, but also puts a strain on the national purse.”
She said although some modest gains were made in the fight to reduce teenage pregnancy, there still remained a lot of work to be done, since the figures remained very high.
Mrs Kpe drew the attention of the participants to the legal ramification of their actions as citizens.
She stressed that “if a man impregnates a child, then the laws of our land need to deal with the perpetrator.”
“We are, therefore, here to build networks to sustain our engagement with other members of the traditional councils and their communities to champion the reduction of teenage pregnancy and child marriage,” she said.