A written reply to the Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary question has exposed that over 42,000 SA learners have been impregnated since 2014.
As found in the reply which was made available to BuzzSouthAfrica, a total number of 18,357 SA learners were impregnated in 2014. 15,504 pupils suffered the same fate in 2015 and 8,732 in 2016.
Yes, the number of SA learners impregnated, as you must have noticed from the figures offered above, is decreasing. But then, that’s not necessarily the situation. The Department of Basic Education didn’t provide the 2016 stats for Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
The two province as you’ll get to learn from the table below, are among the provinces with the largest number of school pregnancies in 2014 and 2015.
Before you take a look at the table, here’s the question DA asked:
“(a) What is the total number of learners in (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools who fell pregnant in each province during the (aa) 2014, (bb) 2015 and (cc) 2016 school years…
(b) how many of the specified learners returned to school in each year respectively and…
(c) how many were reported by schools to the South African Police Service for reasons related to sexual offences in each year?”
Below is a representation of the number of SA learners in primary and secondary schools who fell pregnant in each province in 2014:
The figures for 2015 is a shown below:
And, that of 2016:
Reacting to the revelations made, DA asserted that the figures should shock every South African.
“Young girls, most under the legal age of 16, are having their futures undermined, likely through being taken advantage of or abused,” DA lamented.
With that, the party indicated that it will submit further parliamentary questions to find out if the girls are under the age of 16.
“…If so, (DA would find out) whether any charges have been instituted against those responsible.
“We will also investigate whether these girls have since returned back to school, following the birth of their child, what support the school and the Department of Basic Education have provided them to catch up on the syllabus, and whether counselling and other emotional support have been provided,” DA promised.
Furthermore, the party agitated that it’s vital for the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga to provide the unknown number of impregnated learners so as to enable a “realistic and honest assessment” that would help identify solutions to the problems.
“These young girls cannot be lost to the system and the department must follow up to ensure that they continue to attend school.
“Keeping children in school should be our major priority if we are to ensure that every person, no matter the circumstances of their birth, are able to live a life they truly value,” DA added.
Meanwhile, the Department of Basic Education said it’s not in the position to report on learners who returned to school after pregnancy. Also, the number of cases reported to the police can’t be ascertained. This is so because the figures the department offered to the question was the reported cases of sexual offences for the entire public services.