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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Leave no girl behind in Africa: discrimination in education against pregnant girls and adolescent mothers

    This report provides information on the status of laws, policies, and practices that block or support pregnant or married girls’ access to education. It also provides recommendations for much-needed reforms.

  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. Kenya: helping adolescent mothers remain in school through strengthened implementation of school re-entry policies

    The goal of this case study is to document an activity of the STEP UP research programme consortium which resulted in successful evidence utilization. This is to both demonstrate the positive impact STEP UP is having on family planning and reproductive health policies, as well as to document the process by which this was achieved so as to inform future research of successful strategies and lessons learned. …

  4. Change the context not the girls: improving efforts to reduce teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone

    Concerns about significant increases in Sierra Leone’s already high rates of teenage pregnancy during the Ebola crisis have led to redoubled efforts among policy-makers and development practitioners to address this problem. The startling health and education impacts on teenage girls -twice as many mothers aged 15-19 die in childbirth compared to those over 20 while teen pregnancy is one of the leading causes of school dropouts - underline the importance of these efforts. …

  5. Expanding access to secondary school education for teenage mothers in Kenya: a baseline study report

    The objectives of this study were to: 1) foster an understanding of the current situation and context in regard to out-of-school teenage mothers and their potential support systems for school re-entry at the household and school levels in Homa Bay County, 2) clarify possible solutions for promoting school re-entry on the part of out-of-school girls, their families, and the education sector, and 3) provide a benchmark against which changes resulting from an intervention to promote school re-entry may be measured by the endline period.

  6. Education sector response to early and unintended pregnancy: a policy dialogue in Homa Bay County, Kenya

    In collaboration with the Strengthening Evidence for Programming on Unintended Pregnancy (STEP UP) Research Programme Consortium, the Population Council has implemented a project since 2014 to increase the demand for secondary school education in Homa Bay County, Kenya – an area characterized by high, unintended teenage pregnancy and female school drop-out rates.

  7. Education sector response to early and unintended pregnancy: a review of country experiences in sub-Saharan Africa

    In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), early and unintended pregnancy leads to a colossal loss of educational opportunities for girls: A high proportion of pregnancies among adolescent girls aged 15-19 years in the region are unintended, and nearly all adolescent girls who have ever been pregnant are out of school in most SSA countries. Existing studies that show associations between early/unintended pregnancy and school dropout lead to critical questions about how the education sector is responding to the issue in SSA. …

  8. 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. …

  9. Adolescent pregnancy and education trajectories in Malawi

    Education is a vital component of the preparation for adulthood, and is closely linked to transitions into marriage and parenting. Childbearing among adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa remains high, while primary school completion is far from universal. This paper uses longitudinal data from five rounds of the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study to investigate how becoming pregnant while attending school influences medium-term educational outcomes of young women. …

  10. Re-entry to school after giving birth: an evaluation of the process used to design and implement policy in Zambia

    The re-entry policy launched in 1997 advocates that girls who drop out of school due to pregnancy should be readmitted after giving birth. …

  11. 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. …

  12. Forced out: mandatory pregnancy testing and the expulsion of pregnant students in Tanzanian schools

    This publication documents the forced pregnancy testing and expulsion of pregnant school girls in mainland Tanzania. Launched in 2013 and based on in-depth interviews with young women who have undergone these practices, as well as teachers, government officials, and health care providers, this report provides concrete evidence and compelling stories of the numerous human rights violations many Tanzanian girls face in the pursuit of education. In addition, the report provides key recommendations to the Tanzanian Government, regional human rights bodies, and the international donor community. …

  13. 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. …

  14. Exploring experiences of pregnant and mothering secondary school students in Tanzania

    The Constitution of Tanzania grants every child the right to education, yet a girl’s access to education is denied when she becomes pregnant or gives birth. This study explored the experiences of pregnant and mothering students in secondary schools and the community awareness, attitudes and perceptions toward pregnancy policy in Tanzania. It sought insights into parenting students’ challenges, coping strategies, and their suggestions on how to help teen mothers who are returning to school. …

  15. Marriage and childbirth as factors in dropping out from school: an analysis of DHS data from sub-Saharan Africa

    This paper explores the potential importance of marriage and childbirth as determinants of school-leaving in sub-Saharan Africa and identifies some of the common underlying factors that contribute to premature school-leaving and early marriage and childbearing. We find that the risks of leaving school during adolescence for reasons other than childbirth or marriage far exceed the risks associated with these two demographic events. …

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