Schools to review pregnancy policies

2013-07-10 16:51

Johannesburg - Two Free State school governing bodies must review their current pregnancy policies, the Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday.

The review had to be done by 10 October this year, Judge Sisi Khampepe said in the judgment.

Once the review was complete, the governing bodies had to hand over an affidavit to the court setting out the process followed and furnish copies of the reviewed policies.

"The applicant and respondents must engage meaningfully with each other in order to give effect to the order," Khampepe said.

The court was delivering judgment in a dispute between the Free State education head (HOD) and two Welkom schools.

At issue was whether the HOD was lawfully entitled to order the principals of the Welkom High School and Harmony High School, not to comply with the pregnancy policies their governing bodies adopted in 2008 and 2009.

These provided for the automatic exclusion of pregnant pupils from school.


The HOD instructed the principals of the schools to readmit two pupils who had been suspended under the pregnancy policies.

The schools asked the Free State High Court for an interdict preventing the HOD from interfering with the implementation of their policies.

The high court granted the interdict, which the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) confirmed.

The high court and the SCA found that the HOD did not have authority to instruct the principals to contravene duly adopted school policies.

The HOD appealed against the decision in the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court dismissed the appeal against the decision of the SCA, but ordered the schools to review their policies on pregnant pupils.

No costs were ordered in the case.

  • Raymond Kok - 2013-07-10 17:03

    should we even have such a policy in place,dont these girls know about birth control ,how can a teacher give class to someone who is according to them a mother to be what about the dicipline in class.

      Cindy Naude - 2013-07-10 18:54

      never mind birth control Raymond, aren't they in school to get EDUCATED?!? or does our schools preach "safe sex" nowadays, instead of abstaining... it's absurd that schools can be forced to admit pregnant "students" In my days, if you were pregnant, you were out, simple as that!

  • Johan_Swart - 2013-07-10 17:05

    No good can come from immorality being rewarded and the immoral being given precedence.

      kalabafazi - 2013-07-10 17:35

      I agree. Why not seriously get to the root of the problem instead of dill dallying around the fringes in an effort not to tread on some bulls#$@ liberation rights.

  • Yugan Naidoo - 2013-07-10 17:49

    One of the few policies I agree with which was in place during the apartheid era, u pregnant ,u must leave and take care of your child, when u study and u a minor ,there is no time for sex. Instead of reviewing the policies the culprits should be charged for having sex with a minor. Send these people to a convent to live a celibate life until they are educated.

  • Johan Smal - 2013-07-10 17:51

    I can sort of see where the comments above come from. I wouldn't want t oteach a girl who is pregnant. On the other hand, are we going to exclude the boy who fathered the child too? Seems fair that if the pregnancy cost the girl her education it should also cost the boy his....after all, it does take two....

      Cindy Naude - 2013-07-10 18:56

      indeed Johan. problem being, so many of the girls treat sex as a sport that they can't pin-point WHO the father is....

      Johan Smal - 2013-07-11 09:13

      True, but a simple paternity test should sort that out. If it can only be determined afterwards the exclusiong could be applied for the appropriate length of time as soon as the facts are known.

  • Paige Turner - 2013-07-10 17:55

    A pregnant woman who is employed is compelled to take maternity leave, starting a certain number of days/weeks before the due birth date. A similar policy should be implemented for pregnant "learners" and the boyfriend (both of whom, quite frankly, have not learnt enough to prevent pregnancy) and it should be a longer period because of the learners' immaturity. Education is paramount for everyone in South Africa, and in most cases if kids knew they -- the girl and the boy -- would be suspended from school for, say, 6 months they might be a bit more circumspect about their actions.

      Yugan Naidoo - 2013-07-10 18:26

      A learner must go to school to be educated, sure u know about family planning, education , career , love of ur life , home kids, the way of the old school is the only way

      Cindy Naude - 2013-07-10 18:58

      actually, no, obviously not, since the girls in question must've known the consequences and STILL fell pregnant.....

  • Yugan Naidoo - 2013-07-10 18:30

    Pupils should go to school and open their eyes, ears , mouth , mind and not their legs?

  • Anthony Richardson - 2013-07-10 19:40

    No child support grants to mothers under the age of 18, or 21 maybe? Unless you are married, of course. Maybe that would reduce schoolgirl pregnancies?

  • Albert Martin - 2013-07-10 19:51

    There no excuses for them.. suspend them

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