|Alhaji Mohammed Haroun Cambodia|
Teach your children as they grow up to be conscious of their sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) so that no one in the opposite sex or among their peers can teach them what is wrong or take advantage of their ignorance to sexually abuse them.
Savana Signatures, a Tamale-based non-governmental organisation which is making the call, said the failure of many parents and guardians to educate their children about SRHR, had not only made such children ignorant but also made them vulnerable to various forms of sex abuse and wrong information on sexuality education.
Senior Projects Coordinator of Savana Signatures (SavSign) Abdul-Rashid Imoro who made the call during the launch of the Ghana version of World Starts With Me (WSWM) in Tamale, said whether parents liked it or not, their children were being misinformed on matters of sexuality and were practicing it wrongly. “The earlier we start teaching them the right thing, the better it will be for them and us as parents”, he posited.
In view of this, SavSign which uses information and communication technologies (ICTs) to address development challenges, will be partnering with the Ghana Education Service (GES) to roll out the WSWM which is a computer and rights based comprehensive sexuality education programme designed to educate in-school and out-of-school children between the ages of 10 and 20 years.
WSWM was developed in 2003 by Rutgers WPF in collaboration with Butterfly Works and is now being used by many schools and youth clubs in a number of countries in Africa and Asia. The curriculum of WSWM combines SRHR education with information technology skills and creative expression to deliver SRHR lessons to young people.
WSWM also uses creative learning methodologies to deliver sexuality and sexual education to young people at basic schools. With a curriculum blended with a lot of exercises, WSWM helps students to internalise essential messages, learn crucial life skills and explore new behaviours as they grow up.
About 25 basic schools in the Upper West, Northern and Volta Regions of Ghana are to benefit from the project which is being supported by Rutgers WPF, EduKans and Eduaid. They are Yapei Presby D/A JHS, Sambu JHS, Gambaga Presby JHS, Sawla Model Girls JHS, Zogbeli JHS Block ‘A’, Yilonaayili JHS, Sakasaka JHS Block ‘C’, Darul Hardis Islamic JHS and Nyohini Presby JHS.
Others are Moglaa JHS, Savelugu Experimental JHS, Yoo R/C JHS, Pong Tamale M/A JHS, Tolon Model JHS, Tolon M/A JHS, Yapei Presby JHS, St. Ann’s Vocational School and St. John’s Vocational School.
The rest are Rawdatul-Atful Junior High School, Kpetoe E/P JHS, Akoefe Tokor M/A JHS, Ho Dome R/C, Kpodeta Ashanti JHS, St. Basilde’s Vocational School (Kaleo) and St. Claire’s Vocational School (Tumu).
Northern Regional Director of the GES Alhaji Mohammed Haroun Cambodia, who launched the WSWM project expressed happiness and appreciation about it, saying “it targets young people in their formative years who are largely ignorant in many ways”.
According to him, there is a lot of misinformation about SRHR among young people that sometimes leads to confusion in their mindset. “It is therefore appropriate and timely that SavSign decided to partner with the GES to address this confusion in their minds”, he noted.
Alhaji Cambodia also appealed to SavSign and its partners to endeavour to scale-up the project to benefit many more schools in the Northern Region because it has the tendency of reducing teenage pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted infections among young people.
Mr. Imoro further explained that, WSWM aims at contributing not only to the improvement of sexual and reproductive health of young people, but also to their socio-economic development. “This is to enable them make informed decisions on their sexuality and sexual behaviour”, he emphasised.