Learner pregnancy prevention & management policy workshop convened

South Africa: The Mpumalanga Department of Education convened a Learner Pregnancy Prevention and Management Policy Workshop on 26 September 2022 at the Capital Hotel in the City of Mbombela Local Municipality.

South Africa: The Mpumalanga Department of Education convened a Learner Pregnancy Prevention and Management Policy Workshop on 26 September 2022 at the Capital Hotel in the City of Mbombela Local Municipality.

The purpose of the workshop was to engage and lobby key education stakeholders to support the Department in addressing factors that are contributing to the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the province.

Advertisement

The rate of learner pregnancy in South Africa is alarming and has become a major challenge in schools as it affects the lives of thousands of young people, often limiting their personal growth, their pursuit of rewarding careers and their profession and future ambitions.


 

 


The Learner Pregnancy Prevention and Management Policy provides guidance on the reduction of unintended pregnancies, management of their pre-and post-natal consequences, limitation of associated stigma and discrimination against affected learners and the retention and re-enrolment of affected learners in school.

The Policy also seeks to ensure the accessible provision of information on prevention, care, counselling and support, frameworks for impact mitigation, the choice of termination of pregnancy and guidelines for systemic management and implementation.

In particular, it commits the Department and other role players to providing Comprehensive Sexuality Education as a crucial part of school curricula to safeguard learners’ sexual and reproductive health rights.

ADV

The Comprehensive Sexuality Education was introduced to ensure that learners gain the knowledge and skills to make conscious, healthy and respectful choices about relationships and sexuality.

It also provides an age-appropriate, culturally relevant and right-based approach to sexuality and relationships, which explicitly addresses issues of gender and power, and provides scientifically accurate, practical information in a non-judgmental way.

The Learner Pregnancy Prevention and Management Policy is underpinned by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, which affirms that children have an inalienable right to access basic education and thereby, pregnant learners and those who have borne a child have the right to continue and complete their basic education.

The Department convened the workshop as part of its coordinated multi-sectoral response aimed at addressing barriers to learning and development that prevent children from realising their right to education.

Moreover, the workshop also discussed and developed practical strategies to reduce learner pregnancy through progressive collaborations with key stakeholders. The Department makes a call to all communities to fight the scourge of teenage pregnancy.