Inclusion or Exclusion Ramifications of Teenage Pregnancy: A Comparative Analysis of Namibia and South African Schools Pregnancy Policies

N Mashishi, T Makoelle

Abstract


Pregnancy of learners for most South African schools has reached alarming proportions. To most governing bodies and teachers, it has becomes difficult to deal with pregnancy of learners. What makes this a conundrum is that teachers don’t know what should be done for the well-being of the pregnant leaner, the baby and the fear that learners and teachers who may have to provide medical help should medical problems arise are not prepared. South African constitution forbids excluding pregnant learners from school and allows them (Pregnant learners) to continue with their schooling. The school governing bodies of most schools responded by formulating pregnancy policies which forbids a pregnant learner from continuing with her schooling when her pregnancy in the seventh to eight month and not to return to school immediately after the child is born. In some schools, a pregnant learner must be accompanied by an adult at all times for such a learner to continue with her schooling. Denying pregnant girls access to education is a denial of their fundamental human rights. This paper explores how schools through school governing bodies have modelled their pregnancy policy on the Department of Basic Education document entitled “Measures for the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy”. This paper also argues that the document referred above has some aspects which are unconstitutional like the exclusion from school by a pregnant learner for up to two years. Using a comparative analysis, the guidelines contained in the document referred above, are then compared with the ones from the neighbouring country of Namibia. The aim is to draw lessons from how Namibia deals with the prevalence of learner pregnancy in schools.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n14p374


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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