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Pregnancy drop outs worrisome

In effort to address the high rate of school drop outs due to teenage pregnancy, Shashe River Senior Secondary School has engaged other stakeholders.

In an interview, the school’s guidance and counselling senior teacher, Mr Paul Motshegwe said they have engaged Manyanda Child Protection committee to address the students, especially Form Fives.

“We had four Form Five drop outs in the first term. We have lost eight students since the beginning of the second term. From the eight students, five are Form Five students and three are Form Fours,” he said.

Mr Motshegwe said according to his assessment, dysfunctional families were some of the contributing factors, saying students were not given proper guidance by parents.

Also, he said some students either lived alone while parents stayed at farms or cattleposts or live with their grandparents.

After the address, Mr Motshegwe said he was hopeful that students would heed the message and try to make right decisions and desist from engaging in sexual activities that led to falling pregnant.

However, he said it was also important to engage parents so that they also appreciated the challenges facing both the students and teachers, hence the need to create workshops that would help close existing gaps.

Tonota social worker, also Manyanda Child Protection committee secretary general, Ms Tlotlanang Ramoroba explained that the committee, which included community leaders, was created to protect children’s rights in Manyanda ward, where the school is located. She engaged students on their rights in reference to the Children’s Act of 2009, which she said also guided their committee’s mandate.

“The Act stipulates that the best interest of the child is of paramount importance,” she said.

She also informed students that the Act further encouraged child participation in every decision- making that involved children.

Ms Ramoroba therefore appealed to the students to familiarise themselves with the Act in order to appreciate their rights and be empowered. She further explained that the Act also encouraged and instilled some sense of responsibility in terms of making the right decision about their lives.

Again, she encouraged them to take education seriously and desist from engaging in activities, that expose them to pornographic and obscene materials that would not contribute positively to their lives.

She said under the Act, free basic education was a right that every student should attain to avoid having an uncertain future.

She also encouraged students to trust social workers and be open for necessary advise as and when they needed it.

“You have a right to privacy and we understand that as children you have different situations and challenges.

You should trust us as professionals so that we can be able to help you in the best way possible,” she said.

Motivating Form Five students, Mr Sean Kgokong also advised them to avoid engaging in sexual activities, but focus on their studies.

Further, he said students should also be encouraged to dream and work hard towards achieving the dreams. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Bulukani Hubona

Location : TONOTA

Event : Interview

Date : Jul 11 Wed,2018

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