Govt mulls law to help pregnant pupils
The cabinet has agreed in principle on a draft ministerial regulation aimed to ensure sufficient support to students struggling to cope with unwanted pregnancies.
The legislation is also intended to require educational institutions to improve the quality of sex education.
The draft is titled: “A ministerial regulation for determining types of educational institutions and specifying their prevention and resolution of the teenage pregnancy problem,” said Athisit Chiyanuwat, an assistant spokesman for the government.
In principle, all educational institutions specified under the draft ministerial regulation will be required to allow students who become pregnant while studying to continue their studies in a “flexible” approach, Col Athisit said.
Educational institutions will also be required to avoid punishing or reprimanding students who may intend to suspend their studies while pregnant, recovering after giving birth and taking care of their babies, he said.
Providers also will be required to approve students’ requests to return to school and resume their studies, he said, adding the institutions will be required to provide proper reproductive health services. Agencies directing these educational institutions will be responsible for both following up on their prevention and resolution of the teenage pregnancy problem.
Citing the draft ministerial regulation, he said the types of educational institutions required to abide by the change are primary and secondary schools, vocational institutions and all providers of higher education programmes.
They will be required to put in place mechanisms to provide proper assistance to students in cases of teenage pregnancies, and protect the confidentiality and privacy of students in case of pregnancy while studying, he said.
All education providers also will be required to provide education on sex, a new task that will be included into appraisals of their teaching performance, he said. Higher education colleges and universities will also have to integrate sex education and training in teen counselling into their courses where appropriate.