Bangkok Post

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.

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