Education system, my foot!
A stunning revelation this week that 1114 teenage girls in the Ohangwena region had to abort school in the past three years because of pregnancy is a clear sign of a sick society, and a rather poor education system which has no protective net over children.
It is even worrisome that not only is that number alarmingly high, but there is more to the sad tale which also revealed that about 7400 school-children, including boys and girls, also leave schooling in that region because of the unavailability of nearby schools, difficult conditions and many other unnamed reasons.
This is only the tip of the iceberg if the statistics are to be weighed on a national scale, and here we are, boasting that we are crafting an education system which will develop our children into intellectuals. We find it rather disturbing that such a huge number of pupils can fall pregnant at schools in one region, and the Minister in Charge does not declare a national crisis in parliament.
Perhaps, our political leaders are more comfortable in portraying a symbol of dwarfs in high robes at the expense of a burning society with realistic challenges which no one pays heed to.
One child falling pregnant during her primary or secondary school day is one too many, and the moment this figure goes to double figures, one would expect our dear Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa to blow the whistle, and blow it hard because failure to do so is pretty much tantamount to condoning an immoral society. She must unleash a hurricane.
One would certainly be keen to sink their investigative journalism teeth into finding out how many of the alarming number of teenage pregnancies are based on the teacher-to-pupil ratio.
It might actually be worrisome to note that some of these culprits are teachers entrusted with the responsibility of nurturing our children.
Even worse, some of these idiots who operate under a pathetic notion of an open-zip policy towards our children are sugar daddies, who do not see the value of respecting our girl-child. Some of these sugar daddies might even have their own children of the same age as those they are preying on.
We would reckon that a serious probe by the Government to this pathetic state of affairs in the education system will go a long way. In other countries where delivery and efficiency are a hallmark of public service, one would expect the educational director of this region to be given the boot, or the line minister being taken to the cleaners in parliament.
It is imperative to note that one of the key pillars to cementing Vision 2030 is to create gender balance in all leading positions of the workforce, and come up with a knowledge-based economy. However, what knowledge is our education system imparting on our girl-children if all we are doing is to teach them the unholy lesson of sexual sin?
We ought to be a system which responds well to criticism and finds long-lasting solutions to problems. While we would not want to take the lead in deciding for the line minister, we do not see anything wrong with challenging her to institute a probe into this catastrophe, which has the potential to taint our education system for a long time.
Not only is this an issue which shall not be left to be solved by the minister alone, but the Prime Minister also needs to step in and solve this problem.
Non-governmental organisations and opposition political parties need to prove that they are not Devil’s Advocates in political discourse, but rather stand for the best in the Land of the Brave. If this sexual monster which has ravaged the Ohangwena region is not stopped, we might as well end up having our children forced into early motherhood.