Conference Hears About Policy On Learner Pregnancy

Schools should strive to ensure all learners are informed about the benefits of abstinence and the risks of engaging in sexual activities.

Schools were also implored to impress on learners the appropriate use of contraceptives and to make informed choices on sexual matters.

Chief education officer Ayesha Wentworth gave the aice recently on behalf of the Minister of Education Dr David Namwandi at the traditional leaders’ conference in Windhoek.

She was briefing traditional leaders on the education sector policy on the prevention and management of learner pregnancy.

She said the policy on learner pregancy has been divided into two sections comprising prevention and management.

The prevention aspect of the policy is considered to be the main focus with the hope that fewer and fewer learner pregnancies will occur.

She said the policy is based on guiding principles such as the right to education the need for prevention information and respect of support, and respect for culture and family values.

The policy provision for the prevention of learner pregnancy includes programmes on reproductive and sexual health, life skills and relevant supplementary programmes, and promoting safe leisure activities.

It also includes gender-specific support and mentoring for learners, counselling, aice on possible partners, family and community involvement, a safe environment and exemplary behaviour by education staff. It was noted that the challenges the policy faces is that not all the regions have trained their life skills teachers on the policy, while there is no adequate resources for training. School management is also not adequately informed while the same applies to the community. The education ministry has urged all principals to ensure life skills teaching be supplemented by extracurricular programmes and topics on decision-making and assertiveness.

Schools should endeavour to arrange after-school activities with safe entertainment options for learners in an alcohol-free environment.

In cases where learners become pregnant, the policy compels schools to endeavour to manage the situation by supporting learner-parents to continue with their education. The goal is to prevent pregnancy and retain learners at school towards uplifting the socio-economic status of the nation.

Source : New Era

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