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Challenges in the prevention and management of adolescent pregnancy and school dropout by adolescent mothers in South Africa

Source Research in Educational Policy and Management
Authors T. Twalo
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
Print HSRC Library: shelf number 9814483
handle 20.500.11910/23347
Owing to the social, economic, health, educational and psychological implications of adolescent pregnancy, there had been many attempts to stop this phenomenon. These efforts, however, do not seem to be succeeding given its acceleration, generally in South Africa. The schooling of many adolescent girls gets disturbed by their pregnancy and others discontinue with schooling postpartum. This exacerbates South Africa's challenges of unemployment, poverty, intergenerational illiteracy, and general societal vulnerability. The Pregnant Learner Management Policy contributed to the dropout rates as it prohibited adolescent mothers from returning to school before they had spent two years with their babies. It has since been replaced with the National Policy on the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy in Schools, but reintegration remains a challenge. The pregnancy and reintegration challenges are aggravated by institutional, social, economic, cultural, and religious barriers. The pregnancies are due to several factors such as poor and inconsistent uptake of contraceptives, and inadequate parental involvement and guidance on the sexual and reproductive health education of the adolescents. The study used qualitative research techniques to delve deeper into the adolescent pregnancy and school dropout phenomenon; research participants were sampled from the three provinces with the highest number of births that were delivered by adolescents, namely KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, and Eastern Cape.