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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. 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. …

  3. 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. …

  4. Teen pregnancy and education: politics of knowledge, research, and practice

    This article explores the politics surrounding the education of pregnant/mothering students. Utilizing Title IX, which guarantees the rights of pregnant/mothering students to an education equal to her peers, as an analytical lens, the author specifically identifies how absences in knowledge, research, and practice about the education of pregnant/mothering students are constructed. These absences, which are not neutral, construct discourses that affect the provision of education to pregnant/mothering students. …

  5. 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. …

  6. Exclusion from school: teenage pregnancy and the denial of education

    There is an unrecognised crisis in the education of pregnant schoolgirls and schoolgirl mothers. Girls leaving school due to pregnancy are not reported in official statistics. This has serious consequences in terms of resource allocation and planning of service provision. This article examines how girls are forced out of the mainstream education system because they are pregnant or have given birth. …

  7. 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. …

  8. South African teachers' responses to teenage pregnancy and teenage mothers in schools

    South African law forbids excluding pregnant teenagers from school and permits young parents to continue with their schooling. However, the existence of progressive policy and law does not by itself ensure that pregnant teenagers and young parents remain in school or experience as little disruption to their studies as possible. Two of the factors influencing the experiences that pregnant girls and young parents have are the attitudes and practices of teachers. We explore how teachers in diverse South African secondary schools respond to young women's pregnancy and parenting. …

  9. Experiences of pregnant adolescents - voices from Wakiso district, Uganda

    Background: In Uganda, morbidity and mortality among adolescent mothers and their children are high. Social factors behind this problem need to be better understood. Objective: To explore problems that pregnant adolescents face in order to design appropriate policies and interventions. Methods: This was a descriptive study that utilized qualitative methods for data collection. The study population comprised of pregnant adolescents, adolescent mothers, opinion leaders, In-charge of health unit, and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) in Wakiso district, Uganda. …

  10. 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. …

  11. 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. …

  12. Predictors of knowledge about HIV/AIDS among young people: Lessons from Botswana

    This study sought to identify factors that can predict knowledge about HIV/AIDS among adolescents in Botswana. The data were collected through a self administered questionnaire from a sample of 1294 students from schools around the capital city of Botswana, Gaborone. The research instrument consisted of 76 items that solicited information on background characteristics of respondents, indicators of family cohesiveness and bonding of children with their parents, indicators of personal adjustment, evidence of sex life, and knowledge about HIV/AIDS. …

  13. Jamaican Mothers' Influences of Adolescent Girls' Sexual Beliefs and Behaviors

    The purpose of this study was to identify the ways in which urban Jamaican mothers influence their adolescent daughters' sexual beliefs and behaviors in order to incorporate them into the design of a family-based, HIV risk-reduction intervention program. Focus groups were conducted with forty-six 14- to 18-year-old adolescent girls and 30 mothers or female guardians of adolescent girls recruited from community-based organizations in and around Kingston and St. Andrew, Jamaica. Separate focus groups were held with mothers and daughters; each included 6 to 10 participants. …

  14. Sexual and reproductive health communication between mothers and their adolescent daughters in northern Nigeria

    The authors conducted structured interviews and focus groups to investigate reproductive health (RH) communication practices among 184 mother–daughter pairs in Ungogo, northern Nigeria. Transcripts were analyzed using the grounded theory approach. A total of 136 mothers reported discussing RH issues with their daughters. The majority of daughters acquired RH education from their mothers. Parents were more likely to discuss marriage, menstruation, courtship, premarital sex, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than other sex education topics. …

  15. Mother-daughter communication about sexual maturation, abstinence and unintended pregnancy: Experiences form an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya

    Parental communication and support is associated with improved developmental, health and behavioral outcomes in adolescence. This study explores the quality of mother-daughter communication about sexual maturation, abstinence and unintended pregnancy in Korogocho, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya. We use data from 14 focus group discussions (n = 124) and 25 interviews with girls aged 12-17, mothers of teenage girls, and key informant teachers. …

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