Earlier this year the South African Gauteng Health Department recorded more than 23 000 teenage pregnancies between April 2020 and March 2021. According to the Gauteng Health Member of the Executive Council (MEC) Nomathemba Mokgethi, 934 of the girls were between the ages 10-14 which raised more questions about teenage pregnancies, and it was further revealed that 2,976 girls between the ages 10 and 19 decided to terminate their pregnancies, and over 19 000 babies were delivered by girls between the ages 15-19.
The department did not have profiles of the fathers and they had a few cases of statutory rape being recorded. Teenage pregnancy remains a serious social and health problem in South Africa which led to the intervention of the Department of Basic Education Minister Mrs Angie Motshekga who came up with the rule that schools will now have to send a report to the police when a pupil who is younger than 16 is pregnant, and if the father of the child is older than 16 (and therefore a rapist), civil and criminal proceedings will have to be followed. The policy aims to reduce and manage the rate of schoolgirl pregnancies, which has become a ‘‘major challenge’’ for the basic education system and national development. The other solution in schools which can be used to reduce teenage pregnancy is sex education.
According to Elizabeth Boskey who is a social worker and lecturer at Boston University teens need to know the safer options of having sex, sex education does not increase sex, boys should be taught to be good men, sex education does not encourage sex, and teenagers will learn to say no.
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