At least 24 learners from primary schools in Khomas fell pregnant in 2020, statistics provided by the region’s education directorate have indicated.The statistics show that the region recorded 371 pregnancies among learners, of whom 26 are from special…
At least 24 learners from primary schools in Khomas fell pregnant in 2020, statistics provided by the region’s education directorate have indicated.
The statistics show that the region recorded 371 pregnancies among learners, of whom 26 are from special schools, 24 from primary schools, and 321 in secondary schools.
A total of 139 pregnancies were reported during the first and second term, while 232 were recorded in the third term alone.
The 371 pregnancies recorded in 2020 show a notable increase from the 246 pregnancies among learners the region recorded in 2019.
“We do not have the exact numbers of learners impregnated by older men or by fellow learners; however we are aware that many girls are impregnated by people who are not in school,” the report states.
Acting Khomas Education Director Paulus Lewin told Nampa in a recent interview the alarming statistics are among several reasons why, despite the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country, the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture resolved to open schools.
“We have seen too many horrible things happening to children while they are at home, especially young girls, they are the most vulnerable group of children. Some of these children are raped by their own fathers, uncles, brothers and cousins,” Lewin said.
Lewin said while the children are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 when in school, most of them are safer from other social evils than when they are at home.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday reported that at least 4 825 Namibian children under the age of 19 have contracted COVID-19 since March 2020, of which 785 are children under the age of five.
According to Lewin, most children depend on schools for socio-economic support in terms of food through the school feeding programmes and sanitation, which he said are not available to some children when they are not in school.
“We are creating a safety net for children when they are in schools. We are not saying they will not get COVID-19 but we want to get them out of those other circumstances they face at home and offer them a better environment because it is not just about education to us. Education is the main thing but it is also about the wellbeing of these children, that is our priority too,” Lewin said.