Breaking News

Pregnant pupils divide Parliament

by Staff reporter
24 June 2019 | 516 Views
Parliament was left divided on Wednesday over a clause in the Education Amendment Bill which bans the expulsion of girls who fall pregnant while in school.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima defended the clause while backbenchers argued that it was not sustainable as it had the effect of turning schools into "maternity homes" and undermined the country's moral fabric. This came during the Second Reading stage of Education Amendment Bill which also seeks to ban corporal punishment in schools.

Pelandaba-Mpopoma legislator, Mr Charles Moyo (MDC Alliance) said allowing pregnant girls at school would spoil other children who would feel that authorities were condoning bad behaviour.

"I have a problem with the second part, that is on the basis of pregnancy. Why Madam Speaker? Our schools must not be turned into maternity homes. There is no need for those who would have failed on their choice to look for a boyfriend to proceed with schoolwork. A rotten apple spoils the barrel. I want to say, it will not be good for other pupils as well. So, when a person is impregnated, she ceases to be a pupil or a student, she becomes a mother," said Mr Moyo.

"Mind you Madam Speaker, there are complications associated with a person on her first pregnancy. The issues like BP, stress, untimely or early labour pains. Surely, we must separate those who want to proceed with their schoolwork and those who have chosen to be mothers. It must be a clear amendment to say, those who would have chosen to have boyfriends, I will reiterate, must be separated from those who want to proceed with their schoolwork because of the peer pressure. After all, if you happen to have that pregnancy maybe at Form 1, if you are not punished and proceeded with schoolwork, it means when you are now at Form 3 or Form 4 level, you again repeat the same mistake.  

"Surely, we must separate those who want to do their schoolwork properly without any disturbances, without being close to the bad behaviour that will be exhibited by those who would have been impregnated by other people."

Warren Park legislator, Mr Shakespeare Hamauswa (MDC Alliance) said there must be a comprehensive re-entry policy for those girls who fall pregnant at school.

"I think this would be important to help a number of girl children within our society as well as boys who are also being affected. Currently, there is no clear re-entry policy in Zimbabwe," said Mr Hamauswa.

Bikita West MP, Elias Musakwa (Zanu-PF) said allowing girls to continue with their studies undermined moral fabrics of the country and compromised the achievements registered in attaining high literacy rate. He also said it was not prudent to ban corporal punishment.

"I recommend that this part needs to be rephrased into, when a child becomes pregnant at school, that child should be sent home to give birth and nurture the child, after which she can be readmitted to our education system. If we pass such a Bill without rephrasing, I am visualising a school where we have maybe 150 girls and 50 are pregnant," said Nyathi.  

He said most waiting mothers' shelters at village health institutions were failing to cope with the number of pregnant women and girls.  

"I visited some maternity homes where there are doctors and nurses who specialised in looking after pregnant women; they are failing to cope. Now we want to transfer this duty to a school head and the teachers to look after the pregnant children at school" he said.

Cd Nyathi said the clause on pregnant pupils needs to be looked into deeply so that it does not lead to moral decadence.  

"While we are trying to protect the education imbalance between the boy child and the girl child, we should also be serious when we are talking about early child marriages. On the other hand, it is like we are encouraging early child marriages by saying let us let our children get pregnant at school."  

Cabinet approved the Education Amendment Bill in February and it was gazetted in the same month. The purpose of the Bill is to provide for the right to a basic State-funded education, including adult basic education, the right to equality and non-discrimination and the right to language and culture.  In response, Minister Mavima said retaining corporal punishment violated the Constitution which resented subjecting persons to degrading treatment.

"The fundamental basis of the inclusion of this issue is premised on Section 75 of the Constitution which speaks against discrimination. Current practice in our education system has it that if two form four learners have an affair and end up impregnating each other — the male student can continue with his education but the female student cannot. Section 75 of our Constitution bans discrimination on the basis of gender or sex and it is the basis upon which this item was included in our Bill. It is also on the basis of international practice and trends. We seem to be lonely as far as that is concerned," said Minister Mavima.

He said the trend internationally is to make sure that the girl child is not discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy.  

"I concede that the specific re-entry arrangements have to be done but those can be done as a Statutory Instrument, we cannot remove this provision within our amendment Bill," said Minister Mavima. On corporal punishment, Minister Mavima said it violated Section 53 of the Constitution.

"Therefore according to our home grown Constitution, Section 53 of 2013 and not the Lancaster House Constitution, it indicates that we cannot have inhuman treatment of anyone in this country. It is upon the basis of this provision of our Constitution that we have removed corporal punishment within our schools. Indeed, the Ministry is seized with the development of alternative means of discipline away from corporal punishment," he said.

Pregnant School MPs

Source: chronicle


Latest News

Police crush anti-Mnangagwa demonstration...leaders arrested

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 July 2019 | 4 Views

7-tips to grow your blog using email marketing

by Staff Writer | 17 July 2019 | 1 Views

Mthuli Ncube told to resign

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 July 2019 | 10 Views

Tendai Biti calls Mnangagwa advisor a 'fool'

by Staff Reporter | 17 July 2019 | 6 Views

Coltart alerts International community of death threats

by Staff Reporter | 17 July 2019 | 7 Views

Army Boss spying on Auxilia Mnangagwa transferred

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 July 2019 | 14 Views

How you can get more involved with the sport of boxing

by Staff Writer | 17 July 2019 | 2 Views

Chamisa crisis meeting with Bulawayo councilors

by Staff Reporter | 17 July 2019 | 8 Views

Suspected CIOs send live bullets to ZCTU leaders

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 July 2019 | 7 Views

Two Zimbabwe businessmen murdered in South Africa

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 July 2019 | 12 Views

Mayor exposes Kambarami, says, 'I was not on leave'

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2019 | 10 Views

Mnangagwa, army rift exposed

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2019 | 11 Views

Civil servants warn government of imminent strikes

by zimlive | 17 July 2019 | 7 Views

Chamisa ramps up pressure on SADC

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2019 | 4 Views

ZRP warns against mob justice

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2019 | 2 Views

Sikhala arrest cost us Bikita East by-election, claims MDC

by Stafff reporter | 17 July 2019 | 5 Views

Sikhala case exposes MDC confusion, dilemma

by Nobleman Runyanga | 17 July 2019 | 8 Views

Chidakwa, Gudyanga trial date set

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2019 | 2 Views


Pure Black set to take Africa by storm

by Mandla Ndlovu | 04 July 2019 | 868 Views

'Cook Off' movie set for UK premiere

by Agencies | 02 July 2019 | 662 Views

Zimbabwean rapper teams up with top selling American singer

by Staff Reporter | 17 June 2019 | 977 Views

WATCH: Penny Penny song insults Malema

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 June 2019 | 10632 Views

Mixed feelings over Harare artistes at Econet gig - Econet Wireless' Z...

by Staff reporter | 11 June 2019 | 1127 Views

Low turnout at Sulu's birthday bash

by Simbarashe Sithole | 08 June 2019 | 2597 Views

Ivy Kombo drops 14th album - CELEBRATED United Kingdom-based Zimbabwea...

by Staff reporter | 06 June 2019 | 447 Views

The latest slots online in 2019

by Staff writer | 05 June 2019 | 829 Views

Samsung Gear Vr Innovator Edition For S6: The Perfect Vr Intro For Professionals

we're drenched in talk about the impending wave of consumer-facing vr headsets about to hit the market, starting at the end of 2015. by contrast, you can walk into a best buy right now and pick up the samsung gear vr innovator edition for the galax... Read More
Sergey 20 June 2015 ago

Greatsoftline For All Of Your Software Needs

coupon and promo codes: greatsoftline for all of your software needswhile some online sellers have promotional services that reduce the overall amount you spent, others do not .you need to be on the lookout for the best outlets in order to chase th... Read More
ITnews 25 February 2015 ago