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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Zambia’s school re-entry policy for adolescent mothers: examining impacts beyond re-enrollment

    The persistently high rate of adolescent pregnancy, particularly among poor girls and in rural areas, is one of the reasons that universal secondary school completion remains elusive in Zambia. We used a mixed methods approach to explore how Zambia’s re-entry policy is related to young mothers’ outcomes beyond re-enrollment in school. We found that girls with knowledge of the policy were less likely to be forced out of school while pregnant and perceived less stigma after delivery. …

  2. Assessing the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District

    The consequences of teenage pregnancy are gigantic and inimical to the wellbeing of adolescent population as well as development in the broad-spectrum. As a result, this study assessed the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District. The research design employed for this study was the mixed approach. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were applied for the study. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were applied in selecting respondents for the study and the sample size was 80. …

  3. Rising school enrollment and declining HIV and pregnancy risk among adolescents in Rakai district, Uganda, 1994–2013

    Background: Poverty, family stability, and social policies influence the ability of adolescents to attend school. Likewise, being enrolled in school may shape an adolescent’s risk for HIV and pregnancy. We identified trends in school enrollment, factors predicting school enrollment (antecedents), and health risks associated with staying in or leaving school (consequences). Methods: Data from the Rakai Community Cohort Study (RCCS) were examined for adolescents 15–19 years (n = 21,735 person-rounds) from 1994 to 2013. …

  4. National policies on pregnancy in education systems in sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Botswana

    The article critiques pregnancy policies in the education systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Policies discussed are divided into expulsion, re-entry and continuation policies. Arguing from the standpoint of theories of oppression, it is postulated that expulsion policies symbolise direct violence against girls who become pregnant and are more common in those countries with poor human rights records. …

  5. Challenges of school re-entry among teenage mothers in primary schools in Muhoroni district, Western Kenya

    Much has been done towards attainment of gender equity in education as envisaged in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), yet gender disparities persist in many parts of the country. Studies indicate that most of girls who drop out of school do not return to class after childbirth despite provisions for it. The purpose of this study was to examine factors that influence re-entry of school girl mothers in primary schools in Muhoroni District, Kisumu County in western Kenya. …

  6. Connecting the private and the public: pregnancy, exclusion, and the expansion of schooling in Africa

    In a number of countries in Africa, young women who become pregnant are excluded from school. This article presents a critique of policy and practice in this area drawing partly on Diana Leonard's scholarship concerning the relational dynamic of gender, generation, social division, and household forms. Much of the policy prescription of large global organisations concerned with the expansion of secondary schooling in Africa does not sufficiently take account of the connection between the gender dynamics of the private and that of the public outlined in Leonard's work. …

  7. Unintended pregnancy and termination of studies among students in Anambra state, Nigeria: are secondary schools playing their part?

    This study evaluated efforts of secondary schools to prevent unintended pregnancy among students and their reactions to pregnant students before and after delivery. A cross-sectional survey of 46 teachers in three public and two private schools in Anambra state, Nigeria was carried out. Information was collected using self-administered questionnaire. Of all the teachers in the study, 87% reported unintended pregnancies among students in the previous 3 years. Expulsion (43%) and suspension (28%) were the most common reactions. …

  8. Girls’ education in South Africa: special consideration to teen mothers as learners

    Teenage pregnancy has militated against the educational success of girls in South Africa. Statistics show that four out of ten girls become pregnant overall at least once before age 20. Education is important for these girls in order to break the poverty cycle in which most of them are trapped. Though the girls are allowed to return to school after becoming mothers, they face many challenges in trying to balance motherhood and the demands of schooling. The aim of this study was to find out how teen mothers cope with schooling, hence how much support is rendered to them. …

  9. De-stigmatizing teenage motherhood: towards achievement of universal basic education in Kenya

    Teenage motherhood is a situation in which a girl in teenage years, that is, 13-19 years is a mother or has a child. Globally, a third of teenage mothers live in India whereas the least affected country by teenage motherhood in the world is Japan. In Africa, it is estimated that approximately 5.5 million girls between 15-19 years are mothers .Of these 62% live in Sub Saharan Africa. In Kenya, 13,000 girls leave school every year due to teenage pregnancy. …

  10. Teen mothers and schooling: lacunae and challenges

    While many girls who become mothers before completing schooling consider academic qualifications to be very important, they may not be able to succeed academically if the support they need to complete their studies is insufficient. Usually, instead of getting support, the teen mothers endure misunderstandings and pressure. The teen mothers may feel disempowered because they are ‘othered’ and consequently, they develop forms of resistance which in most cases may foster their failure as learners. …

  11. Girls' schooling and the perceived threat of adolescent sexual activity in rural Malawi

    Despite its relative infrequency, pregnancy is perceived by parents in rural Malawi as a leading cause of school dropout among female students. This paper explores parents' beliefs about adolescent sexual activity and schoolgirl pregnancy and how these perceptions frame parents' aspirations and expectations about girls' schooling. In-depth interviews were collected in rural Malawi from 60 adults aged 25–50 who were the parent of at least one school-aged child. …

  12. Pregnancy-related school dropout and prior school performance in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    This study is an article extracted from "Studies in family planning", special issue on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa, published in December 2008. This study uses data from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa to examine the factors associated with schoolgirl pregnancy and subsequent educational pathways. …

  13. Associations between premarital sex and leaving school in four Sub-Saharan African countries

    This study is an article extracted from "Studies in Family Planning", special issue on "Adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Sub-Saharan Africa", published in December 2008. As formal schooling spreads within sub-Saharan Africa, a growing proportion of adolescents remain enrolled in school when they "come of age". As a consequence more and more adolescents have to negotiate sexual maturation and sexual initiation in a different context than from that of counterparts in prior generations. …

  14. Adolescent pregnancy and parenting: controversies of the past and lessons for the future

    This paper presents some new facts by examining the validity of nine beliefs about adolescent pregnancy: that nothing can reduce the rate of adolescent pregnancy; that pregnancy adolescents experience poor pregnancy outcomes; that adolescent mothers do not complete their high school education; that pregnant adolescents have large families; that adolescent mothers remain on welfare for long periods; that pregnancy in adolescence is a mistake and, given a chance to overcome the immediate problems associated with it, young mothers can go on to lead normal lives; that welfare causes adolescent pre …

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