Ministry dismisses school pregnancy figures

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Harare (New Ziana) – The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education on Thursday dismissed as fake reports circulating on social media that 20 000 schoolgirls had fallen pregnant in the last 12 months.

The social media reports, which were also picked up by some mainstream news organisations, claimed that around 20 000 primary and secondary school girls had been impregnated between September 2021 and August this year.

But Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson, Taungana Ndoro, while admitting to pregnancies in schools, told New Ziana the figures cited by social media were fake.

He said a total of 4 676 school girls fell pregnant in the whole of 2021, while figures for this year will only be known next year.

Child pregnancies became prevalent when schools shut down at the peak of Covid-19 between 2020 and 2021, attributed by experts to idleness.

“4 676 school girls fell pregnant in 2021 and this was due to Covid-19, and for 2022, (the figures) will be given next year,” Ndoro said.

“Common sense should prevail when wispy imaginations claim that 55 pupils in our schools were impregnated every single day from September 2021 to August 2022.”

The issue of child pregnancies has grabbed public attention in recent weeks after two children – aged eight and nine – gave birth last month.

The cases caused an uproar around the country, drawing universal calls for legislation against child sexual abuses to be stiffened.

Of particular concern to social groups is that most girls who fall pregnant drop out of school, which retards efforts by government and stakeholders to ensure equal education opportunities for all genders.
New Ziana

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