Education Key In Preventing Vulnerabilities In School Learners

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In 2021 the Health Department reported 132 000 deliveries by young girls between ages of 10 and 19. Pregnancy amongst school learners often leads to many teenage girls not completing matric.

 


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This, as it was found that for every three learners who fall pregnant, only two will return to school.

Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) found that 51.6% of the unemployed individuals in the country do not have a matric. This demonstrates the lasting consequences that not completing school could have on the lives of girls who don’t return to the classroom after falling pregnant.

In March, The Department of Basic Education (DBE) launched the Policy on the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy in Schools. The policy aims to provide support to learners who fall pregnant to ensure they complete their schooling. 

This is because the DBE believes that the impact of teenage pregnancy on the affected learners is mitigated through the provision of a systemic, sustainable, structured, safe and empowering environment. 

Earlier this week DBE Minister Angie Motshekga reiterated her department’s sentiment that education is extremely critical in the development of the world. 

The minister was delivering the opening address at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) event in Johannesburg. The event, also aimed also formed part of the Annual Review and Partners’ Meeting of the Our Rights, Our Lives and Our Future (O3) programme. 

The O3 programme aims to empower young people by providing them with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies required for preventing HIV, reducing early and unintended pregnancies, and eliminating gender-based violence.

Motshekga added that through the O3 programme, learners will contribute toward the attainment of UNESCO’s sustainable development goals 3, 4, and 5. These sustainable development goals are: good well-being and growth, providing quality education and achieving gender equality respectively. 

Motshekga said, “To ensure that our adolescents and young people become champions of their lives and be responsible citizens that are empowered to contribute to the development of their world, achieving positive educational outcomes is extremely critical, and this is where the O3 Programme has been very beneficial”.

“Our young people who are our most precious asset for the future of our countries and regions still need us to do more and to fast-track the agenda towards realising the SDG goals and our efforts to achieve an HIV free generation by 2030,” concluded Motshekga.

 

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