Close to 90 Erongo School Girls Pregnant

TWENTY-TWO girls of the Coastal High School at Swakopmund have fallen pregnant so far this year, mostly by local mine workers, a Nampa investigation has revealed.

These pregnancies are part of 89 others reported at eight government schools in the Erongo region this year, where one school – the SI !Gobs Senior Secondary at Omaruru recorded 19 pregnancies – one of these fathered by a school boy.

The Swakopmund Senior Secondary has 16 girls expecting babies, and one of these babies was fathered by a male learner. The Duinesig Combined School at Walvis Bay recorded nine pregnancies – one by a school boy.

The Kuisebmund Secondary School in Walvis Bay and the Petrus !Ganeb Secondary School at the Uis settlement both have eight pregnant learners.

In Karibib, there are six pregnant school girls at the Karibib Junior Secondary School, and one at the West Side High School.

All pregnant learners are still attending school.These statistics were confirmed by Erongo Regional School Counsellor, Marie Booysen, who described the situation as ‘horrible’.

She said these young mothers-to-be are allowed to attend classes until they prepare for delivery, and then they may return to school.

Booysen said her office received complaints from some schools at the beginning of last year that girls are allegedly being impregnated mostly by mine workers.

She then wrote letters to some mining companies at the coast, asking management to caution their staff to refrain from getting involved with learners and making babies with them.

“I did not get any feedback on my letters. There is nothing more we can do in this regard,” she said.

Booysen further said the schools’ management and her office are doing everything in their power to discourage teenage pregnancies by delivering motivational speeches at different schools.

Parents are also brought in to discuss how they can talk to their children, and stop them from engaging in sexual activity and getting pregnant while in school.

“We tell them how difficult it is to have a baby and attend school at the same time. Another topic we discuss with school girls is baby dumping, so they do not dump their babies should they fall pregnant,” said Booysen.

Schools also have “My Future Is My Choice”, a life skills’ training programme which encourages pupils to abstain from sexual activities or use protection to avoid HIV infections, pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Booysen said this term nurses, social workers and parents will be invited to different schools again in an effort to talk to learners and discourage teenage pregnancy in the region.

Approached for comment, the corporate relations manager at Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine in the region, Ratonda Murangi-Katjivikua denied receiving such a letter.

Source : The Namibian