Close to 90 Erongo school girls pregnant

21 Jul 2014 14:00pm
By Paulus Shiku
SWAKOPMUND, 21 JUL (NAMPA) – Twenty-two girls of the Coastal High School in Swakopmund have fallen pregnant thus far this year, mostly by local mine workers, a Nampa investigation has revealed.
These 22 pregnancies are part of 89 school girls reportedly pregnant at eight Government schools in the Erongo Region so far this year.
Only three of these 89 girls were impregnated by school-going boys - the rest by grown men, as some girls, even though not pregnant, related to this reporter they would rather date men with money.
The S.I !Gobs Senior Secondary School in Omaruru recorded 19 pregnancies, of which one was fathered by a school boy.
The Swakopmund Senior Secondary have 16 girls expecting babies, and one of these babies was fathered by a male learner.
The Duinesig Combined School in 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 89 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 have to prepare for the babies’ delivery, and they may then return to school.
Booysen said her office received complaints from some schools at the beginning of last year that girls are allegedly being impregnated by mostly mine workers .
She then wrote letters to some mining companies here, but could not remember the names of any of them.
The counsellor asked the mines’ managements 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 encourage learners 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 LangerHeinrich Uranium Mine in the region, Ratonda Murangi-Katjivikua denied having received such a letter.
She was also not aware of any of her mine’s workers having impregnated school girls.