The National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) has welcomed the announcement of the Basic Education Department’s policy on the prevention and management of pregnancies of pupils in schools.
The number of pregnant minors has risen sharply in recent times, with learners as young as 10 years old becoming mothers.
The policy, gazetted recently, will now compel schools to report underage pregnancies to the police. NAPTOSA’s executive director Basil Manuel says the policy could be one of the mechanisms to use in order to stem the tide of underage pregnancies.
“Imagine a 10 year old giving birth to a child; you can see that we really have a problem, and that we need to do something about it, so we welcome this step by the minister. There are some issues we’d like clarified, but all in all we are more than satisfied with what is on the table. We are worried about some of the implementation, for example, with schools having to report, that is good and well, however if a child just simply doesn’t come to school, we don’t have the resources necessarily to trace that up,” says Manuel.