Schoolgirls get pregnant over holidays

13 Dec 2017 08:50am
WINDHOEK, 13 DEC (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Education Arts and Culture (MEAC) is urging parents to take care of their girls during holidays as most pregnancies in learners are recorded a few months after school breaks.
Speaking to Nampa recently, Deputy Director in the HIV/AIDS Management Unit at MEAC, Julius Nghifikwa said they have generally observed that girls are getting pregnant during holidays when they are away from schools and under parents’ care.
“Children get pregnant while at home, especially [during] the December holiday and the few months of the first term of the academic year. We count a lot of pregnancies in learners [early in the year],” he said.
Nghifikwa said this is because parents do not keep track of where their children are and so girls are left without guidance.
“Some parents are not really taking care of their adolescent girls. They are hardly there. Some because of work and others are just not there,” he said.
He urged parents and the community to take the responsibility of protecting, engaging and guiding the girl-child for her to make informed decisions.
“Young girls are engaging in drugs and alcohol use and this is becoming a problem and a major factor in pregnancy. We therefore need parents and community engagement at a family level,” Nghifikwa said.
According to the most recent statistics from the MEAC, 1 843 schoolgirls got pregnant in 2015 and 2 233 in 2016.
Ohangwena topped the chart for the last two years with 551 cases in 2016 and 349 in 2015, followed by Omusati with 319 in 2016 and 282 in 2015.