Ghanaian citizens including the youth and children have a deep passion in working to improve their surroundings and communities, but regrettably a lot of them especially those in under-served communities lack the KNOWLEDGE AND SOCIAL AWARENESS about the Sustainable Development Goals and ways to get involved in its constructive agenda, we are therefore committed to bring all and sundry on board'...Rimmy Francis Amakye Executive Director RAHE GHANA.
SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PROGRAMME (SHEP)
In Ghana, the age for starting
primary school is six years. Basic education consists of nine years of
schooling: six years of primary school and three years of Junior High School
(JHS). Primary school education is designed for children aged 6 –12 and 13 – 17
years is spent in the JHS. Basic education is followed by three years of senior
high school (SHS) education, either in a senior high school (SHS), a vocational
school or a technical school. The age range for this level is 16–20 years. The
tertiary level consists of all post-secondary education (e.g. polytechnic,
university, teacher and nurse training). A number of studies have reported that
unmarried adolescents are initiating sexual intercourse before age 18 in
sub-Saharan Africa. This means Ghanaian youth in school are likely to initiate
sexual intercourse at the JHS or the SHS level.
Until 1992, sexual and reproductive health was vaguely part of the social studies curriculum as family life education in high schools. In 1992, Ghana established the School Health Education Programme (SHEP). One key programme area of SHEP is adolescent reproductive health, within which teen pregnancies and related topics are expected to be addressed. However, the implementation of the SHEP programme has faced a number of challenges; including lack of SHEP programme materials, lack of trained teachers on SHEP topics and teachers’ unwillingness to teach sex education. With these challenges, SHEP is not functioning and SRHR education is a grey area in school activities. Besides these reinforcing factors, school based gender violence has been mentioned as a militating factor against the effective implementation of SHEP. In 2008, a USAID sponsored report found that sexual abuse of girls in schools, whether by male teachers or “sugar daddies”, is part of a wider problem of school based violence, much of it perpetrated by males. The USAID report also stated that for some teachers, gender based violence was not seen as a serious problem but just a part of the challenges of growing up. It should therefore be expected that in an environment where the majority of sexual abuse cases go unreported, unintended pregnancies among school going adolescents can easily thrive.
The SHEP project aims at addressing the barriers to reproductive health education and develop the capacity of teachers and opinion leaders to increase advocacy and stakeholder support for the SHEP Program in Ghana.
Program Area: ADOLESCENT SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH & RIGHTS
During the implementation of the first project in 2014, Youth Clubs were formed in various high schools in the Assin North Municipal area. Working with these Clubs, RAHE-GHANA have developed a sex education programme which is taught in basic schools by our hardworking staff and dedicated volunteers. The classes aim to break through taboos and provide young people with the dire needed skills and knowledge to manage their sexuality. In addition, it aims to make young women more self-confident about setting their own sexual boundaries. Though the project ended in 2015, the activities of the Youth Clubs in the selected schools are still in operation and remain an important link between the youth and RAHE-GHANA.
“Girls are the future mothers of any society. Every girl that receives
an education is more likely to make education a priority for her
children. It’s a ripple effect of positive change in the community and
~Tariq Al Gurg, chief executive officer, Dubai Cares.