Madam Mollydean Zong Buntuya, the Talensi District Girls Education Officer, has called on the government to freely supply girls in basic and senior high schools (SHS) with sanitary pads to help reduce absenteeism and retain them in school.
The pads, she said, were an essential need of girls, especially those in basic schools.
She spoke of a project “Girls Participatory Approaches to Student’s Success (G-PASS)” under which many items – uniforms, books and sandals were given to them and “when we went back to find out from them the most important item, they mentioned the pad”.
Making the appeal through the Ghana News Agency at Tongo, she said although it was less expensive than a school uniform, the girls saw it as more important than the uniform.
UKAID sometime ago was doing that in the district and it significantly assisted to retain the beneficiaries in school.
“When we checked the attendance, before and after, we saw that the impact made in terms of attendance. If girls are regular in school, they have the potential to perform better.”
She expressed worry about the situation where some adolescent girls in the area lacked access to sanitary pads and were forced to stay-away from school during their menstrual period.
“If the menses start on a Monday, it means that the whole week, that student would be absent from school.”
In the event, she accidentally soiled herself, the male colleagues would tease – make fun of her, such that it would take weeks for the girl to overcome the embarrassment before returning to school.
Madam Buntuya said that certainly was unhelpful to their academic performance.
She also complained about the increasing rate at which young people in the area were abandoning the classroom for mining.
She asked that more was done to help the youth to pursue education careers to make their lives meaningful to themselves and the society.
Madam Buntuya admonished parents to provide adequate protection for their children, especially the girl-child, and guide them to become responsible future leaders.