Our point of view | Teen pregnancy requires active engagement

OPINION:


The partnership between the Departments of Basic Education and Health to curb teenage pregnancies and ensure accessibility of comprehensive sex education in all South African schools is a welcome initiative that could change the lives of millions of young people in this country.

These departments, together with the Department of Social Development, must actively fight against this scourge so that boys and girls are empowered in terms of the knowledge they need and the rights they have with regard to their bodies and their health. reproductive.

Those who oppose the teaching of comprehensive sex education in schools need to come up with realistic alternative solutions and accept that this issue requires everyone to be on deck, after all it really does take a whole village to raise a kid.

“Teachers must also be on the front line to protect the rights of students who have become pregnant.”

With over 20,000 South African teenage girls believed to become pregnant every year, now is definitely not the time for anyone to stick their heads in the sand.

While parents are expected to take the lead in sex education, the reality is that some of their children are not comfortable talking to them about these crucial issues. This is why teachers must be able to provide the necessary help, especially in cases where parents are not available. Schools should also work in partnership with local clinics and police stations to establish adolescent and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health service systems.

“Teachers and other students must also learn not to ostracize those who are pregnant, as this could lead them to drop out of school, which in most cases locks this young family into a life of poverty for the children. decades to come.”

Teachers must also be on the front line to protect the rights of students who have become pregnant.

For many affected teenagers, this is a confusing time, so it’s important that they get sound advice before they end up doing something that could be life-threatening.

Teachers and other students must also learn not to ostracize pregnant women, as this could lead them to drop out of school, which in most cases locks this young family into a life of poverty for decades to come. to come.

These issues should also be reported to the appropriate authorities, including social workers and the police if necessary, so that the teenage mother and baby can receive the necessary protection and care.

When sugar daddies are involved with minors, the law must take its course.

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