The Tema Metropolitan office of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development has held a workshop on streetism for the youth of Tema Manhean.
Madam Emelia Akorfa Menokpor, Tema East Sub-Metro Social Welfare Officer, said the Department organized the workshop to provide the youth with the needed information on streetism, saying people living on the streets were increasing.
Madam Menokpor said many young people preferred being on the streets instead of school, therefore, the need to sensitize the youth on the effects of streetism and use the participants as agents of change in their respective communities.
She disclosed that her outfit had handled more than 50 cases of streetism this year, mentioning that the victims were mostly females who reported teenage pregnancy and child abuse among others.
Chief Inspector Sabina Ama Blay, an officer at the Tema Regional Police Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), said a number of children ended up on the streets because they could not happiness at home.
Chief Inspector Blay noted that divorce, parental negligence, and poor parental care were the main causes of streetism in the country.
When children lack basic care from parents, they often tend to discuss issues of concern with their peers instead of seeking quality advice from their parents.
She cautioned the male youth to desist from luring the under-aged girls into sexual activities stating that it was an offense to have intercourse with girls below the age of 16 years.
She indicated that such acts of defilement could land them into seven to 25 years imprisonment.
The DOVVSU officer added that anyone who has sex with a female above the age of 16 without their consent had committed rape which could land them in prison for five to 25 years.
She encouraged the youth to acquire some vocational and technical skills that would provide some financial support for their upkeep instead of becoming children of the streets.
Madam Olivia Bosompimaa, Tema Metropolitan Girls Education Coordinator, said school drop-out was a major concern in the area and the country as a whole.
She disclosed that whereas 7,799 and 23,050 pupils in kindergarten and primary respectively dropped out of school between 2015 and 2016 in Ghana, 2016 to 2017 also recorded 31,246 primary children and 12,972 junior high pupils dropping out of school.
She said streetism was increasing and the only way to reduce it was for the youth to take advantage of the free education policy to get enrolled in schools and acquire skills they were interested in.
She urged the adolescent girls to control their sexual desires by engaging in healthy activities and focusing on attaining higher education to become responsible adults in future.
Madam Christina Attram-Yartey, Public Health Nurse in charge of Tuberculosis, Tema East Sub-Metro, on her part reiterated the call on the youth especially adolescent girls and boys to refrain from immoral activities and concentrate on their education.109