Mrs. Felicia Okine, Deputy Director in charge of School Health, Tema Education Directorate, has advised young girls to exercise discipline and restraint to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
She said it was much better to have enough patience to wait till they are fully grown before indulging in adult behavior in order not to jeopardize their future.
Mrs. Okine was speaking on Tuesday in Tema on the day of the African child celebration on the theme: "Eliminating Harmful Social and Cultural Practices Affecting Children's Education, Our Collective Responsibility."
Mrs Okine said young girls had to realize that their lives and future belonged to them, adding that it was their responsibility to ensure that no one jeopardized their future.
She urged them to report incidents of inappropriate behavior towards them by people who they might not be able to deal with themselves, such as their teachers to higher authorities to ensure their protection as well as sanctioning of the culprits.
Mrs. Okine said it was unfortunate that some authorities did not allow pregnant girls to write exams.
She said although those girls might have erred, it was important to grant them a chance towards a brighter future.
Ms. Priscilla Takiwaa Aforo, Social Development Officer at the Department of Social Well Fare, said irresponsible parenting, peer pressure, and poor education on the human reproductive cycle, were the key reasons for the high rate of teenage pregnancy.
Ms. Aforo said it was important for parents and other stakeholders such as churches and schools, to adequately educate the youth, especially teenage girls on pre-marital sex.
"There is the need for laws to be enacted to punish irresponsible parents," she said, adding "parents should provide their children's needs when the need arises."
Ms. Sheila Aboagye, Executive Director of PerVita Foundation, urged children to project their ideas and dreams positively by being technologically oriented in the age of Information Communication and Technology (ICT).
"ICT in our era has very powerful developmental advantages, but it depends on how well we use it."
She said in order for ICT to be used properly, teachers, parents and guardians needed to ensure that it was applied appropriately through all curriculum areas.
The program was organized by the Abibiman Foundation and I DAY Ghana. Mrs. Judith Sawyer, Chairperson of the Greater Accra Branch of the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition, and Vice Chair of the School Management Committee of the Nima Cluster of Schools, chaired the function.