Teenage pregnancies decrease in //Karas, but dropouts increase

11 Dec 2013 17:30pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 11 DEC (NAMPA) – The number of girls falling pregnant while in school in the //Karas Region have declined.
However, many leaners still drop out of school.
Deputy Director of Lifelong Learning in //Karas, Jaqueline Rukamba made the revelation during the Women’s Action for Development’s (WAD) graduation ceremony for //Karas here on Wednesday.
Rukamba said in 2011, the //Karas Region recorded 73 teenage pregnancies which skyrocketed to 90 last year, but this number dropped to 61 this year.
She said many teenage pregnancies are caused by ignorance from girls and their male partners.
“They know the risks involved in having unprotected sex, yet they still ignore it,” said Rukamba.
She added that other causes of teenage pregnancy are rape and poverty, when school girls opt to sell their bodies to get material things and money.
“Lack of strong morals among schoolgirls and the urge to have babies are other causes of teenage pregnancies,” said Rukamba.
Shedding light on the school-dropout figures, the deputy director said the number increased from 318 last year to 323 this year.
The highest number of 454 was recorded in 2011, while in 2010, 245 learners dropped out of school.
She explained that some of the factors leading to children leaving school without completing are bullying and fear of more subjects, as the number of subjects increase in the secondary phase of education.
“Some parents themselves also take their children out of school to help them on their farms, while some children leave school to get simple jobs and make their own money, which is a sad situation,” she said.
Rukamba further stated that some mature men who date school girls, influence them to leave school by promising to support them financially to avoid being seen with a schoolgirl in public.
“It is therefore everyone’s task to keep our children in school, and to make sure that they complete their studies,” she demanded.
Rukamba stated that the Ministry of Education makes provision for pregnant girls to continue with their classes, therefore pregnant girls should not leave school.
Meanwhile, the 2013 WAD graduation ceremony for //Karas witnessed 300 unemployed women and men receiving certificates in courses such as Computer Literacy, Office Administration and Tailoring.
Since its establishment here in 2007, the WAD centre has trained a total of 1 500 unemployed people.
Most of these graduates are now employed, while others have started their own small businesses.