ACDP Member of Parliament Cheryllyn Dudley appealed to the public to respond to the draft policy on learner pregnancy, the deadline of which has now been extended.
“The ACDP is appealingly to the public and stakeholders to take advantage of the extended deadline and to respond by submitting their comments”, Dudley said.
The policy seeks to ensure the accessible provision of information on prevention; choice of termination of pregnancy (CToP); care, counselling and support.
The department justifies the policy saying: “the rate of learner pregnancy in South Africa has become a major social, systemic and fiscal challenge not only for the basic education sector but, crucially, for the national development in general. It impacts the lives of many young people often limiting their personal growth, the pursuit of rewarding careers and their ambitions with incalculable impact on the country’s socio-economic systems.”
Dudley said that “The ACDP is extremely concerned that the social sector’s collective response to the challenge of stabilising and reducing the incidence of learner pregnancy and its adverse effects on education will cause unthinkable emotional damage and fuel the intense anger already in the hearts of broken and abused young people”.
The policy also commits the basic education system and other role players to providing Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) that they believe is crucial to sexual and reproductive health.
“The ACDP is opposed to CSE which includes counselling on the choice of termination of pregnancy in schools. We strongly object to this short sighted and counterproductive approach to the challenges young people are facing.”
The policy also confirms that pregnant learners must be allowed to remain in school during their pregnancies and return as soon after giving birth as is appropriate for both the learner and her child. Schools will be required to accommodate the reasonable needs of the learner to ensure that her right to education is not disrupted or ended by pregnancy or birth.
All interested parties are invited to comment on the policy in writing via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 012-3288401.
Kindly provide a name, address, telephone number, and an email address of the persons/organisation submitting the comment.
Closing date for comment is 30 July 2018.
For more information on the draft policy on learner pregnancy in schools, click here.
ISSUED BY: CHERYLLYN DUDLEY MP
28 June 2018