2013. 13 p.
Problems of Education in the 21st Century, 56, pp. 115-127
Swaziland has no stand-alone re-entry policy. Practices vary from school to school, but generally a pregnant adolescent girl has to drop out of school although those who become pregnant may be allowed to return to write their exams at the same school or they may be advised to find another examination centre. The Swaziland Education and Training Sector Policy of 2011 (EDSEC) explicitly states that ‘every child, irrespective of their life circumstances… has the right to be re-integrated into the same institution that the girl was previously attending.’ The study documents school practices that appear to be informed by ignorance of the provisions of the EDSEC Policy of 2011 and historical developments in national policy; international conventions and declarations the country is signatory to, with missed opportunities. Schools are not coping with the evolving and expanding role in helping children develop. The study concludes that there is need for awareness raising as well as legislation which will compel schools not to expel such pupils but that they are given time to deliver their babies and be allowed to re-join the school. It is thought that institutionalising and publicising the EDSEC policy should lead to more and better reporting, more re-entry, and fewer abortions. There is necessity for awareness development among stakeholders, rigorous and vigorous campaigns and preparedness to tackle strong resistance which has been shown through the practices reported in this study to be hypocritical.
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