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DBE policy orders schools to report pregnancies of under 16-year-olds to SAPS

By Harvest Thwala Time of article published Dec 21, 2021

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The new Basic Education policy, which is set to fight the scourge of teenage pregnancies in schools, has been hailed by education activist Hendrick Makenente as a bid to combat statutory rape in society.

“There are many pregnancies that are not accounted for in our society, and some of them are rape by teachers, family members or other people in our society. The department has taken a good decision to involve teachers and the SGB to fight teenage pregnancy and statutory rape,” said Makenete.

The new policy, which aims to reduce teenage pregnancy, suggests that schools will have to send police reports if the pregnant girl is under the age of 16 and the father of the child is older than 16.

According to the National Council Of Provinces (NCOP) report, over 200 000 learners did not return to school this year.

In an interview with a national television broadcast channel, education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga admitted that the introduction could be a bit late. However, the department made a good decision.

“It’s good news, but it’s rather too late because we have thousands of young girls who have fallen pregnant, and the people who have made them pregnant are not known. We have hundreds of cases of statutory rape which have not been reported to the police. In fact, the policy has said we have seen the statistics that you’ve published, but we don’t have a record of these types of cases. ”

“The gazetting of this policy has come at a right time in that we are going to be able to start dealing with these, but it came at a time where a lot of lives have already been destroyed through common assault offences and other places that have taken place. We are trying to close a gap where society wasn’t playing its part,” said Mhlanga.

The bill also states that the educator appointed by the school will provide counselling, support, advice, and they will make sure that they arrange catch up classes for them.

Mhlanga revealed that educators who are involved in this misconduct or any kind of misconduct would face punishment.

“Six months ago, we published a set of regulations that govern the conduct of teachers in schools and their life burns in certain cases and their extended punishment that could be faced by teachers who are involved in different types of misconduct. Alongside that, there’s a database that prevents employment for those teachers, but we know that some of them move to private schools. However, we need to make sure that we close that gap and make sure that they should never work with children anywhere. ”

The new basic education pregnancy policy will be implemented from January next year.

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