Pregnant girls 'must return to school'

2012-03-09 18:10

Johannesburg - Girls who fell pregnant at school had to be encouraged to return and finish their education, Gauteng education MEC Barbara Creecy said in Johannesburg on Friday.

Children who stayed on course were more likely to be employed as adults, less likely to be caught up by crime and were healthier, she said at an education colloquium.

"We need to know what those of us in education can do about pupils falling pregnant," she said.

"We know they are not falling pregnant due to [a] lack of information. They know about the birds and the bees."

Educationists, academics and a number of civic organisations were at the meeting to discuss ways to stop children from dropping out of school before they finish matric.

Creecy said the situation had vastly improved since 1994 but there were still too many pupils not completing their education.

Schoolgirl pregnancy was a major reason for not finishing school.

Other reasons included domestic responsibilities, boredom and repeated failure.

  • Penny - 2012-03-09 18:26

    Well then stop paying children grants for having babies !!! They should be encouraged to get a good education first, instead of being encouraged to make babies and receive almost R 300 per month, per baby from government grants !!!

      Art - 2012-03-09 18:29

      LOL! South Africa.... land of the Social Grants for 14 yr old girls... SAD! The 5m taxpayers have NO SAY on how their taxes are spent....

      Juan - 2012-03-10 03:23

      Perhaps government should look at issuing R300 worth of vouchers for baby goods, as apposed to cash, just to make sure that the R300 is for the baby and not something else

      Marion - 2012-03-10 10:50

      Anyone who is poor knows that you cannot do anything with the R270 social grant that is paid for children. Having more babies also doesn't make the money go any further. I don't agree with the reasoning that says girls fall pregnant to get that grant. When I was at school back in the year dot girls were falling pregnant all over the place and it certainly wasn't to get grants. It was because they had rampant hormones and engaged in unprotected sex.

      Rodney - 2012-03-10 16:47

      @ Art, Britain do the same thing, it's not a South African phenomenon.

  • Shirley - 2012-03-09 18:26

    By the time these children are pregnant they are normally "lost" to further education. They are into boys,partying,drinking and have no desire to return. There are exceptions to the rule but they are few and far between.Remove the grant and they might not be so eager.

      Anthony - 2012-03-10 16:34

      @Penny & Shirley That is absolutely nonsense. Kids are not falling pregnant, so they can get R300 per month!!!! Maybe , better sex education at schools would help. But in the meantime, its great to encourage pregnant kids to continue with their studies. Some of them become excellent students !!!!

      ronheidtmann - 2012-03-10 17:10

      How about not having sex! Let them finish their education and then they can go and screw around. Every time I drive past the post office I just see these teenagers carrying along another five children; R1500 for screwing around isn't so bad!

  • Ben - 2012-03-09 18:35

    How long will the government be able to pay these grants. The way they perform with toll collections it seems as though this problem might become a reality. These grants are escalating at an alarming rate and we are not talking about stingy when it comes to spending.

      Art - 2012-03-09 19:12

      These grant recipeints are the ANC's "VOTES IN THE BANK".... They tell the recipients that if the DA comes into power, they will LOSE THERE GRANTS!

      henk63 - 2012-03-10 07:29

      @Art - That is exactly what any responsible government should do - stop the grants! I regularly see young girls with a todler on hand, a baby on the back and another in the tummy, standing in the grant line. I once asked one why doesn't she work, to which she laughingly replied, "My leg is sore" while shaking a perfectly healthy leg. She will never do anything but breed, useless leeches that they are.

  • Karmah - 2012-03-09 19:12

    Here's a thought. Stop having babies as teenagers. I know it's part of "culture" to have children at a young age and many of them, but this is 2012, get with the program and get an education first, before breeding. Atleast your kids MIGHT stand a chance then, instead of ending up in orphanages, being hired to assist beggars at robot's or worse, being sexually abused by the many family memebers who end up taking care of them.

  • Lynda - 2012-03-09 19:37

    I can't understand why they are falling pregnant when they know about contraception in Grade 4 already

      Lacrimose - 2012-03-09 20:03

      Poor impulse control plus the misguided youthful belief that it will all be fine, a tinge of resignation that this is as good as it gets and a society (including parents) that doesn't see too much wrong with teen pregnancy in the first place. Knowing about things doesn't necessarily translate into doing the right thing. There's bridging knowledge missing - cause and effect.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-03-09 19:55

    Oh this tired, raggedy old argument. We need better stats but circa 1% will truly benefit from grants. Teenage pregnancy generally stops all development as fully functioning member of society right in its tracks. They in turn spawn another generation where education is not important. Parents lead by example. Spend the grant money on prevention and motivational activities rather. I read elsewhere that there are many schools and communities having little in the way to inspire young adults/adolescents/teenagers to engage in more responsible activities.

  • Mark - 2012-03-09 20:04

    They're falling pregnant for the grants, you idiot, and then they'll vote for you. For heavens sake it's your policy, what is it that you don't understand?

  • Mark - 2012-03-09 20:08

    Yet other reasons include stupid politicians, useless teachers, poor parenting, stupid politicians, laziness, grants, stupid politicians..... Barbara Creecy, who writes your speeches or do you come up with this stupid stuff yourself?

      Michelle Kirsten - 2012-03-10 07:15

      As a useless teacher I feel the need to comment here. I agree. But some teachers do try their level best not to be useless, the problem is an entire society telling the youth their teachers are useless and still sending them to school. It sends mixed messages! Parents are literally telling teachers off in front of their kids and then they send the kid to school next day and the kid does just what he/she wants. Sorry for rant! I love teaching but it is getting too much: I spent all week getting sworn at and shouted at by black and white kids alike because I stand in the way of them doing whatever they want to and they KNOW I can't actually do anything to them, cause in one of their words \my mom said if you teachers do anything to me she'll eff you up\ and that's after writing a detention slip, NOT a beating!

      henk63 - 2012-03-10 07:35

      Michelle, if you want to keep your sanity, get out of teaching. I nearly went into education myself, but fortunately didn't. I would be in jail right now, had I gone through. Sorry to you and those who think you can make a difference. Government policy removed all the authority you had. So sad.

  • Shirley Van Heerden - 2012-03-09 21:15

    as a health care worker it is shocking. The attitude is not alligned to education even before they are pregnant. What hope is there that they might have the slightest inclination to get an education after the baby!! Stop granting social grands on a carte blache basis. only once a person can proof that all avenues to obtain employment has been exhausted, then give the grant. And then not in monitary funds, but coupons dedicated to CHILDCARE!!!!! not wine, cigarettes and having a ball wilst poor innocent babies are suffering!!!! A penny wise, pound foolish!!! Viva SA goverment- fostering a dependant state waiting for handouts- way to go- OR NOT- Duhhhhh!!!

  • Täffåz Fuffy Bañhwä - 2012-03-10 00:19

    a direct relationship does not exist between social grants & misbehaviour(pregnancies).Its not the grant that motivates them into that but incidence!!they just need self discipline,moral suasion that its wrong

      Leslie - 2012-03-10 07:11

      At 13 and 14, there is no self discipline. If the family structures do not exist, and the children are not taught morals, then the grants are an incentive. Tragically, it is only after the baby arrives that that realised R300 is not the fortune they thought it was. The grant is not solely responsible, but it does help. A grant should be given to the girls who go to the clinic every day and take a pill, or who are prepared to have the injection. and it should be higher than the child grant.

  • pseudonym2011 - 2012-03-10 06:53

    There were no such things as grants in my day for girls 'who got into trouble' only scorn and derision and certainly no chance of going back to school - I went to college after the birth of my son and ended up getting a better education, so it ended well for me. It certainly wasn't without problems nor was it smooth sailing having a baby at 15. But I was determined to make the best I could out of my life after making a stupid decision in the first place. For as long as there are grants out there, today's young girls are going to continue to get pregnant, ignore their education and generally just become another burden on us tax payers.

      Leslie - 2012-03-10 07:14

      But you were no doubt one of the ones who came from a good home, and it was an oops. You had no doubt been taught by your parents (or person of authority) that education was vital. Glad it turned out well for you.

      Marion - 2012-03-10 10:59

      pseudonym2011, this is no way intended as a go at you, because I reckon most of us could have been in your situation. I reckon it was just a case of some being (un)luckier than others. @Leslie - what makes it an 'oops' for pseudonym2011 who 'came from a good home' and something else for people who don't come from good homes as you put it?

      Leslie - 2012-03-10 13:28

      @Marion - when the girls are trying to get pregnant to access the grant, there is no "oops" in that. It has nothing to do with the wealth of the home, but in a good home, the parents will try and help you to overcome your errors. If there are no parents / guardians around, the child's immature judgement is the best opinion available, and then the value of education is not understood. Never confuse a wealthy home with a good home, they are worlds apart.

  • Michelle Kirsten - 2012-03-10 07:03

    Then create schools for them, where those who kept the child can bring it with if need be. Where they do not sit in class flipping us the middle finger and telling us to \f\off cause we asked for their homework to be returned. Where they don't get a chance to lie through their teeth at younger kids and tell hem how GREAT it is to have a baby, while in actual fact their own parents sit with baby and they go on jolling. Some girls who had babies do return to school and then end up disrupting the education of others with their atitudes and sense of entitlement. We try to cover curriculum and they basically sit back and TELL us we are stupid and boring, cause they don't want education. Its all about ENTERTAINMENT! Perhaps they just get pregnant to have something to do when the playstation breaks

  • Jay - 2012-03-10 07:08

    How are they falling pregnant at school? Are teachers or fellow students responsible?

  • Bruce - 2012-03-10 08:56

    Reply to Henk. Yes the girls got punished. Remember, it takes 2 to tango, the boys carried on like they had nothing to do with it. All due to immaculate conception?

      Marion - 2012-03-10 11:01

      Well said Bruce.

  • Sean - 2012-03-10 14:41

    I think you should just staple their vaginas shut.

      Anthony - 2012-03-10 16:38

      Sean, If you got nothing to contribute to a comment site, rather just shut up !!!

      ReaperAJ - 2012-06-13 11:20

      and by the same token, we ought to "neuter" the boys then too. Indeed, that would fix the problem, wouldn't it? Don't be so bloody thick headed!

  • Leendert - 2012-03-10 15:20

    As long as they stay away from my daughters' school... Sorry, but those girls are no longer 'children' and can do home-studying for all I care. Also solves the problem of child-care as these kids are all too eager to have a baby but have no resources to look after them.

      Faith - 2012-03-12 19:02

      Leendert, becareful of what and how you say things especially when you have children. Every parent protects and guides a child the best way they know how but children will always be children and will explore at times without you knowing. And trust me if they don't want you to know you wont know until one day they come back with a big tummy and you would be asking yourself how did that happen.

  • Jay - 2012-03-10 15:26

    How are they getting pregnant at school? By the teachers? By fellow students? Maybe look at that before paying them to have unwanted children?

      cmoolman - 2012-03-10 16:35

      @ Jay - When a child wants to have sex, they will. Be it at school, home, parties, etc. The MEC did not mean girls that get pregnant at school, as in conception. Girls that are getting pregnant while they are still of school age. I think your question is slightly irrelevant.

      Rodney - 2012-03-10 16:48

      Jay, you can't be that stupid, surely not.

  • Faith - 2012-03-12 18:52

    Penny, I agree with you. The gorvenment should actually look at given these mothers vouchers or better yet just stop giving out grant. But if they are pregnant then they are better off at school getting that education so that they are able to equip themselves for the future as well as the baby because half the time the daddy is long gone.

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