News - Date: 19 October 2018
Written by: Elmon Tshikhudo / Viewed: 5969
The prevalence of teenage pregnancies at schools in Limpopo is becoming a source of great concern.
Recently, 27 learners from Molautsi Secondary School outside Polokwane were found to be pregnant. Mukhwantheli Secondary School in Dididi outside Thohoyandou has 36 pregnant learners, with 13 being diagnosed with the HIV virus.
This was confirmed by Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba during the provincial launch of the School Health Week held at the Living Gospel World Mission Dididi hall. Schools from the surrounding areas were invited for the event. Professionals were also present to test people for various illnesses.
One of the attendees, a 21-year-old Grade 12 learner at Mukhwantheli Secondary, touched the hearts of her fellow learners as she narrated how pregnancy had affected her progress at school. She told her fellow learners that she was speaking out of experience that experimenting with sex at an early age would destroy their future.
"When I fell pregnant in 2015, my father became so stressed as he had wished that I be an example in the family. I wasted a lot of my time directing my energy at impressing my boyfriend and neglecting my school work. What I can tell you is that having a child at school-going age will just give you an extra burden and distract you from your school work. You will end up losing your future," she said.
Ramathuba said she was concerned that so many at Mukhwantheli were found to be pregnant and the worst part of it was that 13 were found to be HIV positive. She said it was about the choices that learners made that made them end up being pregnant. She urged them to focus on their education to pave the way for their future careers.
The MEC, who had her first child at the age of 31, told the learners to end their sexual relationships as that would disturb them in their studies. "Put your priorities first. Disregard decisions that will take you nowhere. Focus on your education and your health and wait for your time to fall in love," she said.
She warned them to abstain from sex, telling them she wanted to see a zero percent pregnancy at the school next year.
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