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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. The effects of adolescent childbearing on literacy and numeracy in Bangladesh, Malawi, and Zambia

    Global investments in girls’ education have been motivated, in part, by an expectation that more-educated women will have smaller and healthier families. However, in many low- and middle-income countries, the timing of school dropout and first birth coincide, resulting in a rapid transition from the role of student to the role of mother for adolescent girls. Despite growing interest in the effects of pregnancy on levels of school dropout, researchers have largely overlooked the potential effect of adolescent childbearing on literacy and numeracy. …

  2. Understanding child marriage: insights from comparative research

    This is the first policy brief produced by the Young Marriage and Parenthood Study (YMAPS), looking at research findings from Young Lives (Ethiopia, Peru, Vietnam and the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) and Child Frontiers (Zambia).

  3. 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.

  4. 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. …

  5. Education for pregnant girls and young mothers. Helpdesk report

    How do Kenya, Nigeria and the UK deal with girls who get pregnant at school in terms of: (1) what the policy is around when they should leave school to have their baby, and whether this is actually implemented; (2) whether formal education is provided while they are away having their babies, how this is delivered, and whether it actually has impact on their learning; and (3) the kind of support girls get for going back to school once they have their babies and how negative attitudes are overcome. Additionally: Identify any information on bridging schools in Ghana and Liberia.

  6. 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. …

  7. Good practices Tanzania: providing alternative learning for adolescent mothers

    Tanzania has one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancies in the world. When a female secondary student falls pregnant, the practice has been to permanently expel her. This is the fate of approximately 6000 female students every year. This is anticipated to change within the context of the rollout of the new Education and Vocational Training Policy 2014. …

  8. UNESCO Tanzania: Provision of alternative learning opportunities for adolescent girls forced out of schools due to teenage pregnancies. Final evaluation report

    The aim of the pilot programme was to 1) provide adolescent girls who had been previously expelled from secondary school due to pregnancies, access to alternative learning opportunities and empower them through income generating and life skills; 2) develop and test self-learning modules and empowerment toolkits for learners and facilitators; and 3) assess and document good practices and achievements to inform strategies addressing the issues related to adolescent girls. …

  9. 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. …

  10. Teenage pregnancy and parenting at school in contemporary South African contexts: deconstructing school narratives and understanding policy implementation

    South African national education policy is committed to promoting gender equality at school and to facilitating the successful completion of all young people’s schooling, including those who may become pregnant and parent while at school. However, the experience of being pregnant and parenting while being a learner is shaped by broader social and school-based responses to teenage pregnancy, parenting and female sexuality in general. …

  11. Reaching out to teen mothers in Malawi

    Save the Children began working in Malawi in 1983, and in the southern Mangochi district in 1993. Among its earliest concerns in Mangochi was adolescent reproductive and sexual health. In 1999, SC launched Nchanda ni Nchanda (Youth to Youth), a five-year program that used an array of approaches to improve the reproductive and sexual health of people aged 10 to 25. …

  12. Getting pregnant schoolgirls back to school!

    This brief outlines the current legal situation in Tanzania with respect to attendance of pregnant schoolgirls as well as the benefits of educational attendance for pregnant school girls and young mothers.

  13. 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. …

  14. FAWE Zambia’s campaign for an enabling readmission policy for adolescent mothers

    This booklet traces the evolution of the re-entry policy in Zambia and emphasizes the seriousness of having in place clear guidelines and a tracking and monitoring system for its implementation. While many countries now recognize the importance of giving adolescent mothers a second chance to continue with their education and pave a future for themselves, only a handful have re-entry policies in place. And among those who have, many have failed to systematically monitor the impact of the policy. …

  15. 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. …

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