Young girls at basic and second cycle institutions have complained of sexual harassment against them by their teachers and have demanded that teachers, who indulge in such acts be made to face the full rigours of the law to deter others.
They said “in many cases, teachers found culpable of sexual harassment are not disciplined by relevant authorities,” a situation, which led to the high rate of teenage pregnancies, child marriages, rape, and defilement in many schools in the country.
They said the situation was worsened by the unavailability of the poorly resourced Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service (DOVVSU) at all districts to respond to such cases of violence.
Selected young people from five regions including Northern, Brong Ahafo, Greater Accra and Ashanti said this in a communique issued in Tamale after partaking in a five-day Northern Ghana conference on sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
The conference was organized by NORSAAC in collaboration with the National Youth Authority, Ghana Health Service and Ghana Education Service and other civil society organisations including Youth Empowerment for Life, Global Platform, ActionAid Ghana with funding from RFSU, OXFAM, SIMAVI, and Plan International Ghana.
It focused on comprehensive sexuality education, comprehensive abortion care, family planning services, youth friendly services and youth literacy in the country.
Mrs Hafsa Yurizaa Zakaria, Leader of Young Urban Women’s Movement in Tamale, who read the communique during the closing of the workshop, demanded that comprehensive sexuality education be incorporated into the curriculum for both teacher trainees and students to improve teachers’ knowledge, skills and information on SRHR services for pupils and students.
The communique also demanded that Parliament should make or amend policies to ensure conformity in the definition of youth as well as guidelines and protocols that ministries should use in providing services to young people in the country.
It also demanded that all districts must have at least one functional public library with computers, internet connectivity and a professional staff to serve the public.
Mr Salifu Saeed, Northern Regional Minister advised the youth to be disciplined and pursue their future aspirations in confidence.