Teenage Pregnancy Is Something That Has Always Been Close To My Heart…

Naturally, one might say, since I’ve been there; done that; got the t-shirt; written the blog!
It’s something I’ve always wanted to try and do something about. Something I thought I’d be able to affect by talking to school kids… make it my own crusade kinda thing, know what I mean? Well, I never got that far, although I did talk to a teenage Sunday school class when I was about 20, at the teacher’s invitation. I spoke about having a baby so young and answered their questions about sex and contraception and dealing with motherhood so young. Unfortunately I never did more than that.
Teenage pregnancy is a HUGE problem in SA schools- and the scary part is that it’s getting worse all the time- despite the government’s attempts at educating the youth.
But things have changed since I fell pregnant at 16 years old, in grade 11… When I fell pregnant- I was suspended as soon as the school found out, but as it was close to the end of the year I was allowed to write my exams. I was not allowed to stay at the school let alone sport a baby bump in uniform, and had I decided to return to school after Damien was born, I would have had to go to a different one. Those were the education department rules back then. Nowadays- things don’t work that way. The education department is no longer allowed to expel the girls or the fathers as it gets labeled “discrimination”! A short while ago, there was even a call to give the girls maternity leave!!!
Here are a couple of articles that have popped up in the press.
Thousands of Schoolgirls Fall Pregnant (March 2006) Attempts to curb teenage pregnancy at schools seem to be having little effect… The high number of schoolgirls falling pregnant shows that the “Abstain, Be faithful or use a Condom” (ABC) message is not effective… In some instances, poverty is so rife that some girls will fall pregnant in order to get the child support grant for survival, while others are from child-headed families and will do anything to put food on the table…
Teenage pregnancy crime bomb (March 2007) The department of education disclosed the alarming escalation of teenaged pregnancy that made headlines last year. More than 72 000 girls aged between 13 and 19 did not attend school because they were pregnant…
Teen babies not for money In 1995, women aged 15-29 contributed an estimated 44 percent to total fertility. This increased to 55 percent in 2000…
Schoolgirl Mothers Have Authorities in A Flap (May 2007) Poverty, poor school discipline, gender violence and a population of increasingly younger citizens are driving dramatic increases in schoolgirl pregnancies in parts of the country… What is alarming is that the trend should be going in the opposite direction, given the emphasis put on condoms and HIV/Aids…
New Plan For Pregnant Pupils (May 2007) School pupils who fall pregnant could face having to spend two years out of the classroom before being allowed back if a proposal in circulation within the Department of Education is approved… the proposals further included provision for pupil fathers to take paternity leave and for the young parents to be helped to get child grants for their babies…
I’m not altogether sure how this new plan is supposed to curb teenage pregnancy…
I think what frustrates me is that I have no idea how or what to do to curb teenage pregnancy myself. Things I would suggest- like education, contraceptives, discipline, etc- have all been tried! “Kids” just don’t listen to adults for one thing! I know I didn’t- it took me years to admit I actually agreed with my folks! And I was one of the lucky ones because my family supported me and loved Damien…

About Angel

Wife, mom, cake artist, Guide Dog puppy raiser, ADHD champion, wedding planner, and tattooed cat slave.

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2 Responses to Teenage Pregnancy Is Something That Has Always Been Close To My Heart…

  1. angel says:

    i honestly haven’t looked into them at all. i think there are one or two in south africa, but they’re more than likely expensive… hhmmm, i’ll do some digging.

  2. Tryce says:

    Hi! I am also interested in teen pregnancy becuase I work at a school geared for teen mothers. What have you heard or read about the success rate of schools created for teen mothers as compared to allowing students to stay in main stream schools? just curious. Thanks.