The Paramount Queenmother of the Mafi Traditional Area in the Central Tongu District of the Volta Region, Mama Sename III, has expressed concern over the increasing number of teenage pregnancy cases in the locality.
According to her, the situation has become a major developmental problem, and called on all stakeholders to help address it, so as to create a brighter future for the youth.
Mama Sename noted, for example, that cases of teenage pregnancy in Mafi-Dugame were prevalent to the extent that girls who were supposed to be in school to be molded to become responsible adults have become mothers, and still depending on their parents, because they dropped out of school and have no skills to earn a living with.
The Paramount Queenmother pointed out that education is the only key to social and economic independence in every society, and urged the youth to change their attitude towards education, by taking their lessons seriously to secure a better future for themselves.
Addressing a durbar at Mafi-Dugame to climax week-long activities to mark the 7th “Kpordoave” annual festival of the chiefs and people in the Central Tongu District, Mama Sename said the time has come for parents and other stakeholders to help put in place measures that would curb the danger teenage pregnancy poses to development in the area.
Mama Sename, who is a retired educationist, promised that any Junior High School (JHS) female student who successfully completes her education, with between aggregate six and 20, would benefit from her personal education sponsorship programme.
She stated: “I am serious about it, and wish to see any JHS girl who would dare me by coming out with good grades. Try me and see if I would not live up to my promises made to you today.”
The Queenmother urged the youth to respect the elderly in society, and their teachers, as well as to cherish their rich cultural practices, so as to protect it, not only for posterity, but also for the present generation, cautioning against adoption of foreign cultures to the detriment of their own.
She also charged parents to live up to their responsibilities, by ensuring that they provide the educational needs of their wards, noting that it was only when they demonstrate high levels of commitment to their wards’ education, that teacher’s efforts would be effectively complemented to achieve the expectant results.
Mama Sename explained that the greatest legacy that parents could leave for their wards is education, and expressed regret that some parents, unfortunately, invest their resources in expensive funeral cloths and coffins, to the detriment of their children’s education.
She continued that the government had provided kindergartens and primary schools for Mafi-Dugame, and the community itself, through fundraising over the years, and during the ‘Kpordoave’ festival, which literally means the first place the people of Mafi settled, had built a junior High School (JHS), but much more needs to be done to put the school in shape.
The retired educationist commended the people of Mafi-Dugame for their high communal spirit, which led to the establishment of the JHS, and the founding fathers of the festival, the late Col. Yengbe, David Yengbe, a businessman in Accra, A.T.M Dzorkpe, William Awuku Amu, Seth Adzormahe and Awukutse Amu, who is the current Festival Planning Committee Chairman, for their contributions towards the annual celebration.
The Queenmother noted that the development of the community should be seen as the responsibility of all, since nobody would do it for them, stressing there was the need for the people to be patriotic and contribute meaningfully to the forward march of the area.
She was emphatic that the building of the JHS was to complement government’s development efforts, since it could not meet all the development aspirations of the people.
The Vice Chairman of the Kpordoave Festival Planning Committee, Mr. David Yengbe, said had it not been the establishment of the JHS, the students would have to be crossing the Volta Lake to Adidome for their High School education.
She observed that it would not only be time consuming, but also the dangers it would have posed to the children would be immeasurable, noting that conscious efforts need to be made to ensure that the best environment was created to promote teaching and learning in the school.