One hundred and sixty-three teenage mothers who got pregnant when schools were closed as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Bono Region have returned to continue their senior high school education.
In addition, 308 pregnant mothers have been encouraged to stay in school with their pregnancies.
The Bono Regional Director of Education, Mrs Ivy Asantewa Owusu, who disclosed this, explained further that 800 pupils at basic level who dropped out of school during the COVID-19 break had also returned to school.
She was briefing the Bono Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) during the first meeting of the council after the nomination and confirmation of the municipal and district chief executives in Sunyani.
Mrs Owusu said after the COVID-19 break, the directorate realised that some pupils and students had dropped out.
She explained that while some of the girls were pregnant, some of the boys were engaged in illegal mining (galamsey), driving of tricycles popularly known as pragya and other vocations.
Mrs Owusu said a programme dubbed: "Back to School" was launched during which religious and opinion leaders used radio stations to encourage the dropouts to return to school no matter their situation.
According to her, "Back to School" workshops were organised for the various district officers and other stakeholders to encourage the dropouts to get back to school.
Special needs children
Mrs Owusu added that 14 children with special needs had been identified and enrolled in various basic schools in the region.
According to her, four of the 14 children who were initially in special schools were enrolled in regular basic schools after showing signs of improvement.
Mrs Owusu said a group at the Regional Education Directorate known as "Friends of Children with Disabilities" was responsible for identifying and soliciting for support for children with special needs.
She said to ensure that more children with special needs would be identified and assisted, a programme would be launched in June to ensure that a structured mechanism was put in place.
Mrs Owusu said a training for selected teachers from the various senior high schools in the region would also be organised in June this year.