Ms Phyllis Oduro, Head-teacher of the Aboabo M/A Junior High School, in the Asokore-Mampong Municipality, has called on heads of basic and senior high schools to attach seriousness to issues of sexual violence in schools and device effective strategies that could help address them at the early stages of formal education.
She said head-teachers could help by drafting and printing some school-based internal rules and regulations governing sexual relationships and post them in classrooms for the pupils and students to read and understand at all times.
This, she believed, would go a long way to make pupils and students responsible in their sexual relationships in their early life stages and help tackle sexual violence and other immoral acts that were increasing in society.
Ms Oduro was addressing about 500 girls selected from six schools in the Asokore-Mampong Municipality on the occasion of this year’s International Day of the Girl Child.
It was organized by the Defence for Children International (DIC) an NGO dedicated to the promotion of children’s right, with support from the Ghana Education Service (GES).
It was under the theme “girl-force: unscripted and unstoppable”, and was used to sensitize the children on how to report sexual violence, early child marriages as well as importance of technical, vocational education and training, especially, for girls.
Ms Oduro said the Aboabo M/A JHS had already made signage of sexual harassment and abuse in all the classrooms in the school for the pupils to be aware and know what to do in relationship with their friends in the opposite sex.
She pointed out that increasing awareness and sensitization of sexual violence in schools and communities were helping in the retention of girls in schools to complete their studies.
Mr. Stephen Darfour, the Ashanti Regional Director, Department of Children of the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection, appealed to community members to report all forms of abuse particularly, child and sexual abuse, to appropriate quarters for redress.