Pupils multiply at the 'nursery'

Amanda Ngudle

Amanda Ngudle

The bustling Masisebenze High School made headlines last week when a student in classroom D5 gave birth to a bouncing girl in front of shocked schoolmates.

Masisebenze is now dubbed the "nursery" by scoffing male students.

News of the hurried delivery in the school's sickroom spread like wildfire, but neighbours say they haven't heard the full story.

The schoolgirl's mother pleaded ignorance, saying her daughter's contraception card was up to date and even the nurses hadn't detected the pregnancy.

"When fellow students mocked her, they were slapped by the new mother. That was the end of the story until she went into labour on Monday," said a teacher who asked not to be named. Reeling from the experience, one teacher undertook her own medical rounds and found four more pregnant girls in the class.

"One principal has resorted to asking mothers to come and baby-sit their pregnant children at school because the government has failed us. Our hands are tied and the parents put their children's lives in ours and those of the nurses," said a history teacher at the school.