by Khume Ramulifho MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education
The DA is concerned about the escalating rate of teenage pregnancies amongst girl pupils in the province.
This follows a media report that more than 1000 young schoolgirls fell pregnant last year in Ekurhuleni. The sexual assault/harassment cases confirm the extent of this problem.
It is shocking that a grade 5 pupil who is aged between 10 and 11 years-old was amongst the list of schoolgirls who fell pregnant.
In most of these cases, young girls are impregnated by older men, the so-called ‘Blessers’. Teachers, principals, parents and relatives are also linked in such cases.
The DA strongly condemns the abuse of our schoolgirls by older men who use money and material things to lure them.
This disgusting behaviour must come to an end.
These young girls are future leaders of our country and we cannot fold our hands when their future is being destroyed.
Teenage pregnancy results in school drop outs and leads to an increase in cases of HIV/AIDS.
This is a societal problem, and the department alone cannot curb teenage pregnancy. We call for more parental involvement in educating our children about the consequences of teenage pregnancy.
The DA calls on the Gauteng Department of Education to intensify sex education in all our schools and to partner with experts in the field to assist in disseminating the information to the learners.
We also urge parents to refrain from harbouring the perpetrators of teenage pregnancies. These individuals must be reported and statutory rape cases opened against them.