Mpumalanga Education Dept raised concern over pregnancies in school-going girls

South Africa: The Mpumalanga Department of Education has noted media reports regarding the statistics of recorded pregnancies involving girls of school going age.

South Africa: The Mpumalanga Department of Education has noted media reports regarding the statistics of recorded pregnancies involving girls of school going age.

In an article which appeared on IOL on 28 September 2022, it is reported that 90 000 learners fell pregnant in Mpumalanga Province.

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The headline is false, misleading and mischievous.

The 90 000 figure represents the National Statistics which were sourced from the Department of Health and subsequently tabled before the Portfolio Committee on Education by the Ministry of Basic Education.

Be that as it may, the Department remains concerned even if only one learner gets pregnant.

It is for this reason that the Department continues to sensitize communities about the negative effects of learner pregnancy.

A workshop was conducted last week to intensify the strategy to mitigate this.

To date, the reports at the disposal of the Department indicate that there are about 8 543 of 15 to 19 year old learners and 297 of 10 to 14 years old young girls who had deliveries in health facilities between April 2021 and March 2022.

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Part of the strategies of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education that are being implemented by the Department includes but are not limited to:

Ensuring that learners gain the knowledge and skills to make conscious, healthy and respectful choices about relationships and sexuality.

Providing 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.