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Durban - Pregnancies at KwaZulu-Natal schools are rising at alarming rates with the MEC of education, Senzo Mchunu, labelling the situation as a ‘crisis’, the Daily News reported on Thursday.Mchunu was speaking at a joint media briefing held in Durban.“We are in a crisis in this province,” he said. He said increasingly male teachers were the ones forcing themselves on girls in their care, IOL reported.“Our children are very vulnerable today. It is ugly,” the MEC said.Mchunu said a father had phoned him crying and begged him to intervene. “He told me his daughter had been taken for the weekend by a teacher. The teacher raped the child and paid her mother R5 000. The mother accepted the money,” he said. In another incident, a head of department at a school in Empangeni raped a 14-year-old girl. “I am the Education MEC and these are my children as well,” Mchunu said. Mchunu said he had dismissed a number of teachers this year for unsuitable love affairs, but the trend seemed to be getting worse, the IOL report saidThe number of pregnancies at schools last year are expected to top 13 000, once the figures have been compiled.According to the afternoon daily, the provincial education department's social enrichment manager Gugu Madladla said that the year before (2010), a total of 12 971 pupils had fallen pregnant.Education officials expected the 2011 would be higher, once all the figures were collated.
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