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GROUP 1

PRESBYTERIAN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE


COURSE TITLE: RESEARCH METHODS
LEVEL 300
TOPIC: THE IMPACT OF TEENAGE
PREGNANCY ON FORMAL EDUCATION OF
TEENAGERS
MEMBERS OF GROUP 1
CHAPTER ONE

THE IMPACT OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY ON FORMAL


EDUCATION OF TEENAGERS (A case study of
ANGLICAN DISTRICT ASSEMBLY J.S.S in the Abetifi
Traditional Area.)

1.0 INTRODUCTION
(BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY)

Teenage pregnancy is simply defined as a teenaged or underage girl becoming pregnant. The
term connotes that the girl has not yet reached legal adulthood before conceiving. A teenage girl
may become pregnant because of various reasons or situations but all teenage pregnancies are a
result of sexual activities either voluntary or not. One of the most traumatic and devastating
effects of teenage pregnancy is making it difficult for the girl to continue with her education.
Drop-out rates, repeaters, poor scoring and inability to graduate are some of the academic
consequences of teenage pregnancy (Hofferth et al, 2001).
Various literatures exist on attempt to identify causes, effects and possible solution to the
consequences of teenage pregnancy on education. The aim of this study is to identify the loop
holes or the weakness in such write-ups and to explore possibility of identifying a solution to the
afore mentioned problem.

This paper proposes to explore how teenage pregnancy affects academic progression. As a
student, pregnant teenagers are also expected to meet a minimum rate of academic progress.
When we say academic progress, it means passing 50% of the credit points for the subjects that
they are enrolled over the duration of the course. Progression status is based on course status,
multiple fails and assessment guide.

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE SCHOOL

Anglican D/A J.S.S is one of the public junior secondary schools located in the
Abetifi Traditional Area of the Eastern Region of Ghana. It has the population
of about () most of whom are teenagers. As a public junior secondary school
its aim is to train or prepare its product for second cycle institutions and
subsequently other levels of formal education. Recruitment of qualified
teachers, maintenance of discipline and pursuit of academic excellence are
but few of the measures being taken by the school to achieve its goal. As a
public institution, the Kwahu district education directorate of the Ghana
Education Service, the Kwahu traditional council assists in the provision of
teaching and learning materials needed to accomplish these goals of the
organization. Capitation grants which is one of the policy of the central
government aims at providing free compulsory universal basic education for
all children of school going age is enjoyed by this school.

1.2 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this study is to evaluate problem of teenage pregnancy on


formal education of teenagers specifically in the programmes being
undertaken by Anglican D/A J.S.S. It also attempt to identify existing
programmes and policies of the school aimed at reducing the impact of
teenage pregnancy on teenagers within the school.

Apart from that attempt to address the problem of teenage pregnancy in


relation to continuation of formal education of the teenagers will be covered
by the study.

The study is intended to help the authors identify areas where the school fall
short and to make recommendation regarding other policy documentation,
implementation and evaluation options that can be instituted to control
teenage pregnancy in the school

It is also aimed at providing the foundation of development of further


theories on the impact of teenage pregnancy or formal education.

On the broader perspective the study aims at providing other educational


institution with the recommendation that can be added to other policies and
programs aimed at reducing the impact of teenage pregnancy and its
consequence on formal education.

1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Notwithstanding the numerous challenges faced by teenagers, little or no


solution has been identified in relation to the impact of teenage pregnancy
on formal education of teenagers. The problem in focus is,

• What are the causes of teenage pregnancy on formal education?

• To what extent are these causes applicable to formal education of


teenagers in Abetifi Anglican D/A J.H.S?

• What are the effects of teenage pregnancy on formal education of


teenage mothers with specific reference to teenagers at Abetifi
Anglican D/A J.H.S?
• Are children of teenage parent able to have formal education as the
case may be in Abetifi Anglican D/A JHS?

• What are the possible solutions to the problem of teenage pregnancy


in teenagers’ education in relation to Abetifi Anglican D/A J.H.S?

1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

For the purpose of this study the objectives have been grouped into general
and specific.

GENERAL OBJECTIVES

• To determine the causes of Teenage pregnancy on formal education in


Ghana.

• To identify the effects of teenage pregnancy on formal education of


teenage mothers in Ghana.

• To determine the degree to which children of teenage parents are able


to access formal education in Ghana.

• To identify possible solution to the problem of teenage pregnancy on


formal education in Ghana.

SPECIFICE OBJECTIVES

• To determine some causes of teenage pregnancy on formal education


of teenagers in Abetifi Anglican D/A J.H.S

• To identify some effects of teenage pregnancy on formal education of


teenage mothers in Abetifi Anglican D/A J.H.S

• To determine the degree to which children of teenage parents are able


to access formal education in Abetifi Anglican D/A J.H.S.
• To identify some possible solutions to the problem of teenage
pregnancy on formal education in Abetifi Anglican D/A J.H.S.

1.5 HYPOTHESIS

The study attempts to test these hypotheses

1. Whether teenage pregnancy has any affect on formal education

2. Whether children of teenage parents have equitable access to formal


education

3. Whether the solutions to teenage pregnancy will increase enrollment


of teenagers in higher institutions of learning.

1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

This project work is limited to Abetifi Anglican D/A J.H.S

This study is also limited to Geographical area that encompasses teenagers


of Abetifi Anglican D/A J.H.S.

The study is also limited to the information gathered from or provided by the
Abetifi Anglican D/A J.H.S

The study is further limited to the knowledge gained by the authors in a four
year study in the university.

The study is also limited to the time frame by the instructor.

1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

Although the impact of teenage pregnancy on formal education of teenagers


is worldwide, Abetifi Anglican D/A J.H.S is selected for the study. This is
because about 90% of its population is teenagers. Apart from that the school
provides formal education for teenagers at the basic level. There are also
programmes such as the capitation grant to facilitate the free compulsory
universal basic education (FCUBE)

The school can also provide easy access to the research given the limited
constraint of time and finances. Apart from that, owing to the location of the
school, the social background of the teenagers is generally heterogeneous.

1.7 METHODOLOGY

Primary and secondary data will used for the study. Administering of
questionnaire, personal interviews. Although the preparation of the
questionnaire may take some time, it is believed that we will be able to
obtain the needed responses from respondents as early as possible given the
time frame of the project. Use of the personal interviews will also be our
means of complementing the data collection with the questionnaire as the
former is cheaper and above all will enable us cover as many respondents as
possible within the school.

With the secondary data collection, write-ups from the internet, books,
journals, blogs, newspapers etc. These we believe will provide ready access
to the information we will need given the limited time constraint and at a
lower cost. We believe that we will be able to obtain a greater sample size to
improve on the degree of accuracy of our research.

1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

The study aims at identifying the impact of teenage pregnancy on formal


education of teenagers. It has therefore been organized into five chapters as
follows;

Chapter one comprises of the background of the study, background of the


organization, significance of the study, statement of the problem, objectives
of the study, hypothesis, and limitations of the study and scope of the study
and methodology.

The second chapter covers the literature review relevant to the topic.

Chapter three, various methods used in the research will be dealt with, this
includes the type of research methodology used, population, sample and
sampling procedures, research instruments (Questionnaires etc)
administration of research instruments and methods for data analysis.

Chapter four presents the analysis of both the primary data and the
information received.

Chapter five summarizes the findings the study, conclusions and


recommendations if any.
CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

INTRODUCTION (DEFINITION AND HISTORY)

Teenage pregnancy dates back to centuries ago according to the Guinness


Book of records Lina Medina of Peru holds the world record for youngest live
birth: She was five years, seven months old when she gave birth in 1939.
Perhaps the most famous teenage pregnancy in history was Mary, Mother of
Jesus. She is generally believed to have been 13 years old when she gave
birth to Jesus. Other sources place her age as high as 15 years. Hildegard of
Vinzgouw, the wife of Charlemagne was about 14 years old when she gave
birth to her first son in 772 CE. The mother of Henry VII of England was 13
years old when she gave birth to him in 1457. Maria of Tver, the wife of Ivan
the Great of Russia, gave birth to her first son when she was about 16 years
old, in 1458. Empress Teimei of Japan was 16 years old when she gave birth
to Hirohito in 1901

In defining teenage pregnancy however, David Schoem (1991), describes


pregnancy by the underage girls of usually within the ages of 13 and 19. It is
becoming clear that the definition of teenage pregnancy depends on the
legal environment, the social cultural identity of a defined people.

In the United States for instance is defined as a minor law underage girl
becoming pregnant. However, in the United Kingdom there is a legal
definition whereby the woman is considered to be a pregnant teenager if she
becomes pregnant before her eighteenth birthday. The term in everyday
usually refer to women who have not reached the age of majority legal
adulthood, which varies across the world who becomes pregnant.
Presently, the US is seeing the highest rate of infant born to single mothers
in its entire history. 33% of infants are born to single mothers. The reason for
this is because of advances in medical technology. The development of
vitamins and other changes in nutrition have changed the average age at
which women can become pregnant. 100 years ago, the average age for
women to become pregnant was 18 years old, mostly because of poor
nutrition. Now that we are more educated and our diets have been altered so
that women receive better nutrition, the average age that a woman can
become pregnant is 12 to 13 years old (Diana Zuckerman)(2008).

Common among these writers is teenagers becoming pregnant within their


teen ages whether from a developed or a developing country. In Ghana like
any developing country, teenage pregnancy is gaining more attention today
because the responsibility of mother hood has gone beyond being a
babysitter to key social responsibilities which require a good formal
education. It is expected that women will be able to move beyond nursing
motherhood to supporting the family with income preferably from a gainful
employment. This is why the need to go beyond just the definition to
establish its impact on formal education of girls.

CAUSES OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY

Many people have looked at the causes of teenage pregnancy from different
perspective among them are;

Peer influence: a lot of teenagers indulge en early sexual behaviour due to


peer influence. Teenagers growing in largely promiscuous societies tend to
date far earlier than others in slightly more conventional set ups. This is due
to the fact that they feel the great need to be ‘hip’ and ‘accepted’ by their
circle of friends. The only way they could probably achieve that would be
having a boyfriend or girlfriend or at least by dating and indulging in sexual
acts often. This kind of rash behaviour could lead to unintended pregnancies
by Mellissa Fox, a health professional (14th July 2008).

Other writers look at peer group influence to teenage pregnancy from


psychological perspective.

According to Abern Nethy (1974), found out that pregnant adolescent have
low self esteem which highly correlated with their engagement in sex and
the risk of pregnancy. Another interesting revelation had to do with the
relationship between teenage pregnancy and the potency of their boyfriend
sexually.

Girls often win the affection their boyfriends by having a child since the
pregnancy confirms the Youngman’s man hood. Becoming independent;
trying to be equal to their mother; to be like other pregnant friends; and to
signal for help, among others (Kandell, 1979, and Musick 1993)

Poor Parental Guidance

Poor Parental control is also identified as one of the causes of teenage


pregnancy. Fox, etal 1988 argues that poor communication between mother
and daughter has a greater tendency to result in sexual activity. Whereas
Fisher 1986 argues that parent’s teen communication has no relationship
with sexual activity. Juhasz and Sonnenshein-Schneider 1987 believe that
communication between adolescent and parents is necessary for adolescent
to make competent decisions concerning sex. In agreeing to the contention
by Fisher, Eisen and Zellman 1987 argue that family communication
between the parents and the adolescents can influence teen use of
contraceptives even though other studies have established no correlation
between communication of parents and their teens with respect to sexual
activity. Fisher (1986), Furstenberg, Herceg-Baron, Shear and Webb; Moore,
Petersen and Furstenberg 1986.
Sex education: Poor sex education is believed to be one of the causes of
teenage pregnancy. In Ghana for instance, sex education in the curriculum of
formal schools does not start early enough. Sometimes, the teenager is
already sexually active before any attempt is made to provide formal sex
education. Montanez, Riera and Kohn 1978 argue that sex education in
schools have not been enough to prevent teenagers from early sexuality
because of their enculturation into permissible sexual practices, they are
always subjected to outside the school environment. According to Durant,
Pendergrast and Saymore 1990 do not only believe that cultural background
of adolescent influence their ability to adhere to formal sex education but
also think that sex education in schools are just not enough.

Lack of Financial support is also considered as one of the causes of teenage


pregnancy because the social economic backgrounds of the parents are
believed to have significance impact on the teenager’s ability to meet their
basic needs.

Salguero 1984; Auerbasch, Nathan and Ohara 1985 argue that the two
explanatory devices used for black teen pregnancy and early sexual activity
rates are values and poverty.

EFFECTS OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY ON TEENAGE MOTHERS

Emotional effects/stigmatization: Victims of teenage pregnancy are often


stigmatized by society especially when they are still within their formal
educational institution. This leads to variety of emotional effects.

Peter Sams (2008) a teenager girl gets scared when she comes to know
about her unplanned teen pregnancy. This could be hard to believe and
difficult to express. She cannot disclose this serious matter to anyone and in
some cases not to even her boyfriend because of whom she became
pregnant. She cannot decide whether to keep a baby or drop it. The teenage
girl become mentally disturbed and may start some addiction. There will be
fear of losing social image among friends and relatives. He further argues
that some of the emotional effects teenage pregnancy can have on a
teenage mother include frustration that she cannot on any subject, confusion
that she cannot make positive decisions, fear that she cannot disclose the
matter to anyone and stops talking, resentments that she gets angry trifle
matters.

Exposure to health hazards

The teenager who becomes pregnant in most cases either for fear of
stigmatization or scolding result to abortion. Sometimes the method exposes
her to a lot of health hazards. Peter Sams 2008 suppose this view and adds
that abortion is illegal in most developing countries.

Until abortion becomes legalized, stigmatization reduces, use of unapproved


methods of abortion by teenage mothers often expose them to health risks
such as damage uterus, death, infertility etc.

EFFECTS OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY ON THE TEENAGERS CHILD

Some of the effects of teenage pregnancy on the child of a teenager


according to Peter Sams (2008) are health problems, higher rates of abuse
and neglect, failure in school, committing delinquent act and adult crimes,
incurring failed adult marriages and becoming teen mothers themselves.
Unless the parents of a teenage mother supports the upbringing of both the
teenage mother and the child in their formal educational pursuit other ripple
effects are inherent.

Peter Sams further argues that in general teen mothers have much lower of
educational achievements than other women, which severely limit their
career options and sharply increase their likelihood of economic dependency.
This automatically impacts on their ability to bring their children up
effectively

SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEMS OF PREGNANT TEENAGERS INABILITY


TO ACCESS HIGHER EDUCATION

It is widely believed that if one is able to solve the problem of teenage


pregnancy then its consequences on the teenager and or her child’s ability
to continue or access formal education equitably will either be removed or
diminished.

Wilhelm Reich argues that sex education either formally through the schools
or informally through a communication either a friend or a family will go a
long way to reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy. However, according
to Gordon and Dockman (1977) even though parents do not typically provide
their children accurate sexual information or any sexual information many
feel that they should be the ones responsible for educating their children
sexualities.

On the other hand two schools of thought according to William J. Bennett


(1992) has emerge from the use and unused of contraceptives: Those who
contents that teen can be taught to delay initiating sexual intercourse until
adulthood by conforming to popular “JUST SAY NO IDEA”, and those who
believe that contraceptives be made available to the children since they are
already aware of issues of sexuality.

Ellen, Philiber and Hoggson 1990 do not think that prevention programmes
must not only be a choice between use and non use of contraceptives and
abstinence but also complimenting the two of school days programmes.
They promulgate school days outreach programmes which encourage
students to perform volunteer services in their communities.

Finally, even though there are numerous programmes by the government of


Ghana through the ministries of women and children’s affairs in offering
social intervention programmes such as financial support for brilliant but
needy children, scholarship schemes, non formal child education
programmes and etc. Not many writers have indicated as a good solution to
the problem of teenage pregnancy.

CONCLUSION

Educating your teenager about the consequences of promiscuous behaviour


and giving him or her a loving balanced home atmosphere, can actually go a
long way in curbing unwanted teenage pregnancy in the future. This along
with stern steps taking by both the school and government will surely help
nip these problems in the bud. ( Melissa Fox) a health professional (2008).

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