Department: Teen pregnancy stats expose alarming sexual offences in society

The Basic Education Department says the teenage pregnancy statistics highlight the extent of sexual offences occurring within society.

Statistics reveal that over 150 000 girls aged between 10 to 19 were pregnant in the 2022/2023 financial year. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga this week tabled a policy on the prevention and management of learner pregnancy in schools before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education.

The policy aims to among other things prohibit the expulsion of pregnant learners from schools and to provide them with pre- and post-natal support. The department’s Deputy Director for learner pregnancy prevention and management, Busisa Nokama says the policy mandates schools to report teenage pregnancies.

“It is important to look at who is actually impregnating these children and that can be done by the Department of Social Development or social workers. So for us as a department we are saying to our schools once the learner is pregnant regardless of their age, complete form 22 and refer this learner to the social development or designated social worker for assessment of social and mental state to deal with this pregnancy, assessment of the possibility of sexual assault or statutory rape.”

(story credit: SABC News)

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