Christian College learners raise flour babies

2016-09-28 06:00
From left, are Mandisa Vens (Head of Department), Uviwe Qolohle, Singathwa Mazibuko, Principal Mafani, Sinomtha Njumbuxa, Usisipho Dyantyi and Anelisa Mazibuko. In front is Siphamandla Swartbooi.      Photos: ANIKA DE BEER

From left, are Mandisa Vens (Head of Department), Uviwe Qolohle, Singathwa Mazibuko, Principal Mafani, Sinomtha Njumbuxa, Usisipho Dyantyi and Anelisa Mazibuko. In front is Siphamandla Swartbooi. Photos: ANIKA DE BEER

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HIGHER Ground Christian College, a small Christian school located in North End, Port Elizabeth, started a project to teach their learners about the responsibilities of teenage pregnancies.

The programme is part of this year’s curriculum and requires Grade 10 learners to carry a flour sack baby with them for three weeks and to treat it as one would a real baby.

“We are an underprivileged school and would like to stop the abuse and neglect of children,” said Heloise Sequeira, project coordinator.

Higher Ground is only a few years old and has a total of 257 learners. They currently teach children from pre-primary to grade 10, adding another grade every year until they reach matric. The grade 10 class consists of six learners, of which only one is a boy.

This is the first year that the school is doing the project and principal Mafani is planning on making it an annual thing.

“The children need to understand that having a child is a big responsibility. They cannot do what they want to when they have someone to look after. They are putting their whole future on hold,” she said.

When asked if they would do the project again given the opportunity, the teenagers all gave a resounding no. They all agreed that it sounded fun at first, but it turned out to be very hard work.

The project is to last for three weeks, starting on September 7, and by the one-week mark they had all had about enough of taking care of a baby, even a fake one.

“When my teacher told us about this project I was thinking about the nice things that my baby was going to wear. As the weeks went by, I started to get irritated,” said Uviwe Qolohle. “What I learned from this project is that when you are a teen parent, you have a big responsibility.”

The project also proved to be quite embarrassing for the learners, who had to take it with them to the shop, on the taxi and everywhere else they went, causing people to comment or laugh at them.

“Having a baby was fun, but at the same time it was hard and embarrassing, because I had to carry it everywhere I went and treat it as if it were a real baby,” said Siphamandla Swartbooi.

Most of them thought that having a baby would be easy, but it turned out to be the complete opposite.

The project turned out to be quite successful as they all agreed that they would wait until finishing school and finding a job before they think about having children.

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