Pregnancies Among Pupils Worrying

THERE is no doubt that the problem of pregnancies among schools girls is still a vexing issue in Zambia. Judging by the magnitude of this problem, there is urgent need to find a lasting panacea to this mindboggling predicament and the sooner it is dealt with the better.

Not too long ago, we carried a story about schools in Ndola where the teenage pregnancy rate among the school girls had reached alarming levels. It would seem most of the mitigatory measures being employed by various stakeholders across the nation are yielding little success.

For example today, we carry another story from Chavuma where statistics gathered by the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Richard Kasoma show that the North-Western Province district has been recording not less than 100 pregnancies among the school girls annually since 2008.

We are told that just in 2008, 141 cases were recorded and the number dropped slightly to 132 the following year.

The numbers have remained above 100 for the past six years with 2013 seeing 118 girls falling pregnant.

According to Mr Kasoma, lack of adequate boarding houses for the pupils in the district is a major cause of this problem.

It is so sad that the pupils are forced to rent some houses because of inadequate boarding schools.

By living in rented houses for them to easily access education, the girls become vulnerable and their personal security is usually not guaranteed in such places.

The issues of peer-pressure and lack of parental control at these houses also contribute to the rise in pregnancies.

The news of building the first-ever boarding school in Chavuma therefore comes as a big relief to the district.

Government deserves to be commended for this initiative which will see these pupils finally learning at boarding schools.

With the construction of boarding of more schools, the pupils will have access to better sanitary facilities unlike at some of these rented houses where sanitation is usually compromised.

Since coming into office in 2011, the Patriotic Front Government has embarked building and upgrading of both primary and secondary schools countrywide which include boarding facilities.

We can only hope that once completed, this programme will to some extent help in mitigating the problem of pregnancies in places such as Chavuma and other areas faced with similar problems.

Source : The Times of Zambia

Leave a Reply