Teen pregnancies 'tragedy'

Over 1 000 Khomas learners now moms

30 July 2019 | Social Issues

The Khomas Region recorded 89 school pregnancies in the first term of this year, while 1 002 learners fell pregnant between 2015 and 2018.

Ombudsman John Walters has described this as a “tragedy”, while deputy gender minister Lucia Witbooi said there is “no excuse” for young girls to fall pregnant, while sex education information is readily available. The Khomas education directorate revealed the figures to Namibian Sun, following an enquiry related to recent statistics from the Oshana Region, which indicated that 88 learners, including two grade 7 girls, had fallen pregnant in the first term. Eighty secondary school learners, five from primary schools and four from resource or special schools in Khomas have fallen pregnant during the first term, the Khomas education directorate revealed to Namibian Sun.

In 2018, 268 teenage pregnancies were recorded, while in 2017 a total of 180 schoolgirls fell pregnant.





In 2016, 266 Khomas learners fell pregnant and 288 in 2015.

Khomas education director Gerard Vries said there is a framework in place that makes it obligatory for teachers and adult support staff at schools to take care of pregnant learners.

“The girls are not necessarily singled out, but the boys that are involved in this are also sent for counselling. Our ideal is that learners remain in the school or return to school. We do everything in our capacity to make sure this is accomplished,” he said.

According to him minimal cases involve adult men and have been reported as rape.

According to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) statistics the Kunene, Omaheke and Kavango regions have all registered an over 30% teenage pregnancy rate, compared with the national rate of 19%.

Children's rights activist Rosa Namises said these teenage pregnancy rates are a cry for help, adding that children with disabilities, who attend special schools, need care and love the most.

Tantamount to rape

“If special schools are included, and you consider the vulnerability of the girls, then this is tantamount to rape. Very important again would be to see who the men are, and I can assure you that most of them would be adult men. I can see a whole new wave of engagements with girls without their consent, especially involving biological fathers, stepfathers or teachers,” she said.

Namises added it is unacceptable for the government to report teenage pregnancies in primary schools year in and year out, without doing something to address the issue effectively.

“We need action now. We need the gender minister and female parents to step up and act. Even people like Rosa Namises must also stop commenting. I have an action plan that we must implement, we must take that step.”

Walters expressed his shock about pregnancies in primary schools and echoed Namises' sentiments that “talk is cheap”.

“What are we as parents and stakeholders doing to educate our young girls and boys to not start engaging in sex while at school? It seems there is no preventative public education for learners,” he said.

Walters said a solution must be found, adding that parents must start having frank conversations with their children.

“I do not think we are doing much to address this, otherwise the numbers would not have been increasing. It is a tragedy that a young girl's career is changed and she may not continue her education because she is suddenly a mother,” he added.

Witbooi said the ministry is “at pains” to address the high school pregnancy rates across the country, but claimed further that enough is being done.

She added that some girls may not be conscious of the consequences of unprotected sex.

JEMIMA BEUKES

Similar News

 

One million live in shacks

1 week ago - 01 November 2019 | Social Issues

The latest count by Namibia's largest community collective has found that close to 40% of Namibians live in shacks - amounting to close to one...

New lease on life

1 month - 24 September 2019 | Social Issues

Over a month after complaining at a presidential town hall meeting in Rundu about the lack of artificial limbs at the town's state hospital, 49-year-old...

Pregnancies, HIV haunt teens

2 months ago - 12 September 2019 | Social Issues

Namibia is grappling with a stubbornly high national teenage pregnancy rate, which stands at 19%. In the two Kavango regions alone, the teen pregnancy...

ELCRN defends controversial synod

2 months ago - 03 September 2019 | Social Issues

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELRCN) has distanced itself from the violence that broke out during the elections held at its...

Vulnerable and alone

3 months ago - 19 July 2019 | Social Issues

After an initial projection in 2008 that there would be 250 000 orphans and vulnerable children under the age of 15 by 2021, President Hage...

Hopeless, destitute

5 months ago - 14 June 2019 | Social Issues

A family of five at Kayeura village in the Musese constituency of Kavango East are living amid hopelessness in a makeshift structure made of pieces...

‘Just hunt for another woman’

5 months ago - 12 June 2019 | Social Issues

KENYA KAMBOWE Gender affairs minister Doreen Sioka has urged men to find another partner when their relationships go...

Alcohol linked to high suicide rate

5 months ago - 29 May 2019 | Social Issues

Namibia has once again been fingered as one of the African countries with the highest per capita alcohol consumption, which could also explain its high...

Deadbeat dads

5 months ago - 21 May 2019 | Social Issues

Although Namibian law holds both parents equally responsible for meeting the basic needs of their children, nearly half of households are run by single mothers,...

Confusion over shack baby

6 months ago - 15 May 2019 | Social Issues

The mother of a three-month-old baby girl who the City Police confirmed had died at the end of April after she and her three young...

Latest News

Namcor ready to run fuel...

4 hours ago | Business

The Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) expects to take delivery of the strategic fuel storage facility next month, a company official has told Namibian Sun....

How the 'sharks' were netted

4 hours ago | Fishing

An international scandal has erupted with an exposé of more than 30 000 documents released by WikiLeaks which show that an Icelandic fishing company, SAMHERJI,...

NSFAF explains payment woes

4 hours ago | Education

The Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has blamed the delayed payment of non-tuition fees to students on the unavailability of funds and its internal...

Hospital ­denies Itula ­allegation

4 hours ago | Health

The regional directorate of health for Ohangwena has denied an allegation by independent presidential candidate Panduleni Itula that a patient at Eenhana district hospital had...

Devil's claw under threat

4 hours ago | Environment

The increase in illegal grazing in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest, as well as illegal fences in the N#a Jaqna Conservancy and Community...

More dark days ahead

4 hours ago | Sports

The Fifa normalisation committee says it still has to consult its lawyers before making a decision on the way forward for the Namibia Premier League...

Mining tourney hailed as a...

4 hours ago | Sports

A three-day tournament that featured different mining employees from across the country, which took place at Otjiwarongo from Friday to Sunday, has been described as...

They have to go, says...

17 hours ago | Crime

Staff ReporterHighly placed sources indicated this morning that President Hage Geingob is planning to jettison justice minister Sacky Shanghala and fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau from...

Namibian arrested in Malaysia for...

1 day - 13 November 2019 | Crime

A 26-year-old Namibian man has been arrested in Malaysia on suspicion of strangling and dismembering his Nigerian girlfriend. The man was arrested on Saturday in...

Load More