Department slaps Sowetan

The Department of Education has neither proposed nor discussed any issue of four-months leave for schoolgirls, as suggested by your newspaper in articles over the past two weeks.

This idea originated from one participant at the recently held KwaZulu-Natal Teenage Pregnancy Summit.

I also understand that even the summit itself rejected the idea about maternity leave for schoolgirls because it features nowhere on the draft resolutions.

This is the information that I personally brought to the attention of your journalists, Xolile Bhengu and Mthetho Ndoni, who both undertook to correct the issue. I went on to explain to the two journalists what the department was doing as far as the issue of pupil pregnancy is concerned.

I also explained that the last council of education ministers meeting, held in Cape Town recently, discussed the issue of pupil pregnancy in schools and the minister of education, Naledi Pandor, would soon announce clearly defined guidelines on the issue.

To read the stories in Sowetan's Friday edition, "Churches' Quandary", still attributing the idea to the Department of Education has made me lose all hope in your newspaper allowing facts to stand in front of a "good story".

Lunga Ngqengelele, spokesman: minister of education, Pretoria