The Eastern Cape Department of Education in collaboration with Department of Health, Social development, South African Police Services, The House of Traditional and Khoisan Leaders as well as other stakeholders held a two-day Learner Pregnancy Indaba Program at Lumko High School from 08 August -09 August 2023.
“The purpose of the program is to mitigate learner pregnancy, which is growing currently, resolve on what would be done by learners, parents, educators, and stakeholders to attain pregnancy free quality Education,” said Prof M Jadezweni from Provincial Quality Learning and Teaching Committee.
When asked MS N Sopiseka, a Director from Eastern Cape Department of Health, what are the intended outcomes of the program, she had the following to say, “To get the challenges that lead to learner pregnancy from different stakeholders and how would the stakeholders manage the challenges, overall infections, and reduction in teenage pregnancy in the Eastern Cape Province.
The presentation on behalf of the ECDoE was delivered by MS PA Gxuluwe, Director of school health, safety and learner enrichment, she said, “Reports show that learner pregnancy in schools is escalating and requires efforts to get everyone’s attention and intervention because with any pregnancy there are other social and health risks that take place which include termination of pregnancy miscarriages including fatalities learners are our future leader’s women of the nation.”
Elaborating more on the above, was a statement from a MS N Seti, Educator from Queenstown Girls High School in Chris Hani District, she said, “Educators need to be empowered about the negative impact of learner pregnancy where most learner’s dropout due to various reasons and learner performance that decreases which may affect also schools function conductively, empowered Educators will be able to support learners whom needs care, love and empowerment.”
Speaking on behalf of the learners were two learners from Lumko High School Msindo Lafika and Amila Febana from Phandulwazi Agricultural High School.
Msindiso Lafika said, “I have learnt that teenage pregnancy is a very serious and major issue in our society, therefore needs a lot of attention and strategies in how we can promote and intensify awareness, from today on behalf of the learners we fully understand the impact of teenage pregnancy and why it is wrong among our youth.”
Additionally, Amila Febana said, “As a learner I have learnt in this program that positive thinking matters because it all starts in the mindset of the youth, I definitely feel much more equipped and empowered to curb the societal problem.”
PHOTOGRAPHER: CULUMANCO MAJEKE