The Provincial Learner Pregnancy Summit is an initiative of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) in partnership with the Free Department of Education.
Currently the Free State accounts for 13,3% of pregnancies of children between the ages of 10 -14 yrs old, according the the Department of Health’s national records for the years 2021/2022. Some falling pregnant even before they get their periods. This is alarming considering that there is also a serious challenge of underreported cases by schools on our EMIS system.
Lejweleputswa, Mangaung and Thabo Mofutsanyane districts are presenting the highest rates of learner pregnancy in the province.
In his convicting address to the multi- sectoral stakeholders present, the HOD for the Free State Department of Education Advocate Malakoane said “We must extinguish not just the flames but the source of learner pregnancy in our schools. Through the commissions in this summit we must produce a document that will provide pragmatic interventions with a clear plan of action on how to eliminate pregnancies in our schools”.
Provincial Secretary of SADTU Cde. Moloi spoke intensely of their concern over learner pregnancies saying “As an organization we take very seriously this pandemic of learner pregnancy because it impacts how the teacher performs their duties”
Hon. MEC Makalo Mohale emphasized how learner pregnancy is one of many a reflection of the communities our learners are raised in: “We need to inculcate an attitude of love for our people and culture. Learners AND their parents need to understand that their lives impact them that they come after them and even greatly on their future prospects”.
Out of this two-day summit we hope to find solutions on how to impede learner pregnancies that ultimately impact the future of this country. We look forward to the resolutions that will come out of the summit.