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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. A sexual and reproductive health peer education programme for girls in grades 7 to 9. Mentor’s manual

    This sexual and reproductive health (SRH) peer education programme was developed as part of the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) Leveraging Partnerships to Achieve the Goals of South Africa’s HIV & AIDS and STI National Strategic Plan 2012–16, otherwise known as Keeping Girls in School. The aim of this component of the programme is to shift social norms and change sexual behaviour by reinforcing and supporting the SRH messages received via the curriculum in order to increase retention and reduce the risk of HIV infection and teenage pregnancy.

  3. Teenage childbearing and educational attainment in South Africa

    Teenage childbearing and attainment at school in South Africa are investigated using nationally-representative data from the National Income Dynamics Study. The analysis focuses on the outcomes by 2010 of a panel of 673 childless young women aged 15–18 in 2008. Girls who had their first birth by 2010 had 4.4 times the odds of leaving school and 2.2 times the odds of failing to matriculate, controlling for other factors. Girls from the highest-income households were unlikely, and girls who were behind at school relatively likely, to give birth. …

  4. Perceptions of policy duty bearers on the inclusive education policy for pregnant teenagers in South Africa

    Post-apartheid, South Africa democratised access to education as enshrined in the country’s Constitutional Bill of Rights of 1996. This also includes making education accessible to pregnant teenagers as provided for by other post-apartheid legal provisions that prohibit discrimination in education. This study explored the perceptions of education policy duty bearers on the inclusion of pregnant learners in formal schools. …

  5. Teenage pregnancy in South African schools: challenges, trends and policy issues

    Teenage pregnancy in South African schools poses a serious management and leadership challenge. It calls for school management teams (SMTs) to acquire critical skills to manage teenage pregnancy within the requirements of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996. Little, if any, research has been conducted on learner pregnancy as a hurdle toward the achievement of millennium development goals (MDGs) and EFA goals. …

  6. Measures for the prevention and management of learner pregnancy. Choose to wait for a brighter future

    This document aims to clarify the position of the department of Education regarding learner pregnancies. The measures provide a framework for: educating and assisting learners to understand and exercise their rights and responsibilities in regard to healthy lifestyles; guiding and supporting vulnerable learners; and involving all relevant role-players, and integrating these measures with available systems and structures.

  7. Inclusion or exclusion ramifications of teenage pregnancy: a comparative analysis of Namibia and South African schools pregnancy policies

    Pregnancy of learners for most South African schools has reached alarming proportions. To most governing bodies and teachers, it has becomes difficult to deal with pregnancy of learners. What makes this a conundrum is that teachers don’t know what should be done for the well-being of the pregnant leaner, the baby and the fear that learners and teachers who may have to provide medical help should medical problems arise are not prepared. South African constitution forbids excluding pregnant learners from school and allows them (Pregnant learners) to continue with their schooling. …

  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. 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. …

  10. Books and babies. Pregnancy and young parents in schools

    Being pregnant and a young parent in South African schools is not easy. Books and Babies examines why this is the case. Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative research conducted in secondary schools in Durban and Cape Town, the book explores how teachers and principals respond to the presence of pregnant learners and young parents in school, and surveys the attitudes of fellow learners towards them. …

  11. 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. …

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