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The Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education Dr. David Sengeh has commenced a Campaign to protect Girls during the current school break, due to the COVID – 19 pandemic.
In a Video Public Service Announcement that was disseminated through various Social Media fora and aired on the Ministry’s Education radio 95.3 FM, the Minister Informed the Public that there was a high prevalence of Teenage Pregnancy during the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic in Sierra Leone. He encouraged Communities across the Country to ensure that the mistake Girls made during the Ebola period, is not repeated during the unavoidable School break.
Minister Sengeh emphasized that Girls who were Victims of Teenage pregnancy, missed School, noting that Education for every Girl is important for the development of the Nation. He added that communities would remain underdeveloped if Girls are not protected, thus depriving them of meaningful Education. For this reason, he invited Parents, Religious and Community Leaders to make a Commitment that they would do all within their powers to prevent Girls from being impregnated during the closure of School due to the COVID – 19 outbreak.
“To the Mothers, Fathers and other members of the family, please talk to your daughters not to indulge in activities that are not safe for them. Ensure that you know where they go and what they do around, and provide their basic needs, for people not to take advantage of them.” Minister Sengeh stressed. He continued to call on Traditional Authorities to establish Bye laws and engagements which would ensure the safety of Girls in their communities.
“Community Leaders must make effort to carry the badge of honour, that none of their Girls is pregnant. They should work hard for the names of their communities not to be mentioned in the list of communities that failed to protect their Girls during the COVID – 19 School closure.” The Minister cautioned Community Leaders.
“If you are that person who sleeps with young Girls in your Community, I am begging you to stop. You have to stop taking advantage of our Girls. It is not good for the development of Sierra Leone.” The Minister appealed to Men and Boys.
This is not the first time the Minister, Dr. David Sengeh is making such an appeal for the protection of Girls. During the Ministry’s last engagement with Stakeholders in Bonthe district, he revealed that every year a Girl misses School, it affects not only her health and wellbeing, but the Economy of the Home, Community and the Country as a whole.
Responding to the Minister’s statement, the Chiefdom Speaker of Jong Chiefdom, Francis Gbanabom welcomed the Minister’s call, for the safety of Girls in their Chiefdom.
He, on behalf of the Paramount Chief of the Chiefdom, assured the Minister of instituting measures that would enable their Children play less and listen regularly to the Radio Teaching programmes provided by the Ministry in collaboration with the Teaching Service Commission, reiterating that it would keep their Children engaged, thereby preventing them from harmful activities.
A Senior Secondary School Pupil in Bonthe Island, Theressa Bangura said she is happy with the Ministry’s efforts to protect them from abuse. She added that Girls in the Island would not disappoint the Minister, and she further promised him, that none of them in the Island will get pregnant during the School closure.
It could be recalled that the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education has recently lifted the ban on Pregnant Girls in School and Public examination. This, according to the Ministry, is in line with the Equity component of the Free Quality School Education Programme which states that every child in Sierra Leone should have access to Free and Quality Education, regardless of their sex, tribe or religion.

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