Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education has welcomed the declining trend in teenage and learner pregnancies in South Africa.
Committee Chairperson, Nomalungelo Gina said: “We are excited that the trends are going down, but even so, we are still worried. One teenage pregnancy is one school pregnancy too many.”
The Committee received a briefing from the Department of Basic Education (DBE), the Department of Social Development and the Department of Health on the prevention and management of learner pregnancy.
The Committee heard that a 2012 study by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) pointed to a decline in teenage fertility rates over the past five decades. However, despite this decline, the study said unintended teenage pregnancies remain unacceptably high.
The Committee was told 16% of women aged 15-19 in South Africa have begun childbearing, with the highest being in the Northern Cape and North West (20%) and the lowest in the Western Cape (8%), according to the South African Demographics and Health Survey of 2016. The DBE Annual School Survey data indicated that there are 15 504 pregnant learners in schools.
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