Statistics gathered by City Press newspaper in Eastern Cape reveals that 9 010 girls having fallen pregnant this year, three of these were in Grade 3 (meaning they are 10 years or a little older considering that the legal age to start Grade 1 is 7 years).
East London Secondary School currently has 15 registered pregnant learners – almost double the number (8) of pregnancies the school had this time last year.
Mpumalanga province has more than 3 000 pregnant learners or soon to be mothers. These statistics are based on a recent (Sept. 2008) survey conducted which found that three regions – Nkangala, Bushbuckridge and Gert Sibande – has 1 671 pregnancies recorded pregnancies. Another region, Emhlazeni, has 1 486 pregnancies on its own. The previous year saw the region record 1 463 pregnant learners. These statistics are believed to be a little higher considering that two of the 30 circuits had not submitted their stats yet.
I’m sure those who’ve been around Mzantsi have realised that seeing a heavily pregnant girl has almost become a norm which shouldn’t be the case. If you go to the malls or shopping complexes you’d actually see pregnant pupils walking around in confident in full school uniform as if they’ve entered miss pregnant competition with a big prize to be won.
I mean in KZN statistically speaking 330 per 1000 women would have had their first child by age 19.
This is so shocking that in certain schools, girls in grades 3 and 4 (roughly translated: age 10 and 11) are falling pregnant.
This just makes you wonder do you really know what your little sister is up to while you’re reading this blog or note. This whole scenario makes me wonder how effective is Life Orientation (a compulsory subject for learners which includes sex education and HIV/AIDS in schools.
Just now on the news there’s a group of youth demanding that corporal punishment be brought back to schools due to ill-discipline of the youth but is another subject for another day.
So far I believe the teachers are being over burdened with responsibilities that fall beyond their qualifications i.e. being mid-wives to these kids. While they play a role in ensuring that they deliver quality education to the best of their abilities for peanuts, (salary not equivalent to work load) at the end of the month. Yet are blamed for all the wrongs things that the kids get up to i.e. learners absconding from school (should teachers be security guards too, considering that some schools are even fenceless).
I still question the role parents play in raising their children, it’s a fact that almost every weekend, OKAY every weekend children iron their best designer clothes to go to dj so and so’s gig and of cause they get entrance fee from mom, dad, uncle, sister etc. not from the teachers. Yet we blame teachers when things go wrong, I’ve heard a lot of people asking what do life orientation teachers do (implying that they are failing to do their job, when in fact parents contribute a major deal to this behaviour).
How do you as a parent sleep in full knowledge that your child is not home? I mean a 10 year old falling pregnant…I don’t even want to start talking about the risk of HIV or AIDS…
I can already see some of you playing devils advocate defending parents, well I hope your child (those who have) is not 10 years and certainly older than 21. If not she better be on the pill or be your best friend (I mean shares everything with you).