The latest news about pregnant South African schoolgirls has landed. On this occasion, 13 of 633 pupils who fell pregnant at Limpopo schools last year were in primary school, with one in Grade 4. Importantly, we don’t know their ages.
But while discussions about schoolgirl pregnancy often evoke moral panic about the notion of sexually active young girls, there’s less consideration of those responsible for their impregnation.
Schoolgirl pregnancy is one of those stories that reliably make the news agenda each year. The narrative is often steeped in stigma, which extends beyond the discourse to the way in which pregnant pupils are actually treated. It has been illegal to exclude pregnant learners from school in South Africa since 1996, but there’s some evidence to suggest it still happens. Even when pregnant learners are permitted to stay in schools, there are reports of shaming punitive measures – such as exclusion from a school’s matric dance.
Reintegration of new mothers into the school system once they have given birth carries its own practical challenges: most schools do not make specific provision for childcare, breastfeeding and so on. Policy around mothers in schools is quite complex, as it requires balancing…
Source : Daily Maverick