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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Teenage pregnancy and school drop-out in South Africa: facts, figures and possible interventions

    This fact sheet is designed for educators, concerned community and parent organisations, as well as education officials. It provides facts and figures on teenage pregnancy in South Africa, and offers suggestions for reducing the number of girl learners who fall pregnant, and as well as suggestions for getting young mothers back into school. This fact sheet, the third in a series of five, is based on the HSRC’s 2009 Teenage Pregnancy Report and the Access to Education study, which was undertaken by Social Surveys and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS). …

  2. 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. …

  3. 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. …

  4. The need for quality sexual and reproductive health education to address barriers to girls’ educational outcomes in South Africa

    South Africa has made significant strides in enrolling girls in school, particularly at the basic education level, with high gender parity indexes (GPI) at the primary school level. However, the high attrition rate at the secondary level and the poor quality of educational experiences and learning opportunities, for girls in particular, remain areas of concern. …

  5. 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. …

  6. A review of teenage pregnancy in South Africa – experiences of schooling, and knowledge and access to sexual and reproductive health services

    Approximately 30% of teenagers in South Africa report ‘ever having been pregnant’, the majority, unplanned. While this number has decreased over the past few decades, it is still unacceptably high. The figure is for all teenagers. (13-19 years old), but motherhood for an 18 or 19 year old has very different implications than for a young teenager, one aged 15, for example. Therefore this report tries, where possible, to be mindful of differing experiences of pregnancy and motherhood across the teen years. …

  7. 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. …

  8. Sexual behavior, pregnancy, and schooling among young people in urban 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. It examines transitions in schooling, sexual activity, and pregnancy among adolescents and young adults in urban South Africa. Data are analyzed from the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS), a recently collected longitudinal survey of young adults and their families in metropolitan Cape Town. We find that teen pregnancy is not entirely inconsistent with continued schooling, especially for African women. …

  9. The link between health, social issues, and secondary education : life skills, health, and civic education

    This thematic study is about the link between health, social issues and secondary education. The study is based on country studies in six Sub Saharan Africa countries (Eritrea, Mali, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania) and a literature review. It looks at the role of secondary education and training in promoting health, civics and life skills among the African youth. …

  10. The gendered impact of HIV/AIDS on education in South Africa and Swaziland: Save the Children's experiences

    Children are dropping out of school in large numbers in communities affected by HIV/AIDS, despite policies and programmes that are designed to support their continued attendance. Research carried out by Save the Children in South Africa and Swaziland concludes that factors influencing drop-out are poverty related, exacerbated by HIV/AIDS. These factors also play out in gendered ways. …

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