Pupils agree there’s no room for preg­nancy in schools – Lim­popo MEC

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - News - – Nonku­l­uleko Njilo

Fol­low­ing a flurry of preg­nancy that rocked Lim­popo schools in 2018‚ the MEC of health in the prov­ince says she has reached an agree­ment with pupils that there is no room for preg­nancy in their schools.

Dr Phophi Ra­math­uba vis­ited the Mukhwan­theli School‚ in Vhembe‚ where 36 pupils were re­port­edly preg­nant in 2018.

She took to Twit­ter to make the an­nounce­ment and has since been ac­cused of want­ing to ex­clude preg­nant pupils.

“We agreed with pupils that MEC [Ish­mael] Kget­jepe doesn’t ap­point mid­wives, he ap­points teach­ers whose pri­mary role is to teach, so there is no room for preg­nancy at school.

“When you are in labour at school you ex­pect teach­ers to progress you and it’s un­fair. They promised it won’t hap­pen‚” she tweeted.

De­fend­ing her­self‚ Ra­math­uba ar­gued that so­ci­ety needed to be bru­tal when tack­ling teenage preg­nancy.

“Talk­ing about preg­nancy is not taboo. A lot has been done in terms of sex ed­u­ca­tion. These kids know ex­actly what con­tra­cep­tives are or how they work.

“We need to be bru­tal in talk­ing about these things and tell it like it is‚” she said.

Last July‚ TimesLIVE re­ported that 27 pupils were con­firmed preg­nant at Mo­lautsi Sec­ondary School near Polok­wane.

While Ra­math­uba re­ceived some crit­i­cism‚ she stood by her re­marks.

“The only place you can find 36 preg­nant learn­ers at one go is a ma­ter­nity ward not a school.

“It is just un­fair that a teacher must be ex­pected to at­tend to one preg­nant learner‚ who might be sick or suf­fer­ing from morn­ing sick­ness while the rest suf­fer and are de­prived of their right to ed­u­ca­tion‚” she said.

The MEC said she vis­ited var­i­ous schools in the prov­ince‚ along­side young pro­fes­sion­als mo­ti­vat­ing pupils to fo­cus on their stud­ies.

The spokesper­son for ed­u­ca­tion in the prov­ince‚ Sam Makondo‚ said the preg­nancy rate in the school had been alarm­ing and aware­ness cam­paigns would be in­ten­si­fied.

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