One high school, one hundred pregnancies
More than 100 pupils have fallen pregnant this year at Masiqhakaze High School in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni.
A teacher said he could not provide the exact number, but did say that it has already exceeded 100 this year.
Many will remain in class until days prior to their giving birth.
Sowetan visited the school yesterday but the mothers-to-be put up a wall of silence. Some snapped at yours truly, saying it was not the newspaper's business to know about their condition.
The teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, said no one at the school was shocked by the high incidence of pregnancy any longer.
"Some girls go away to have their babies and return while others choose to drop out.
"It almost seems as if the schoolgirls are competing against each other," the teacher said.
Last week teachers and pupils at nearby Masisebenze Secondary School in Tembisa were shocked when a 17-year-old pupil gave birth at school.
On Monday Sowetan ran a report about hawkers who ply a profitable trade selling disposable nappies to students at schools in and around Tembisa.
A Grade 12 student at Masiqhakaze High School said she had lost count of how many girls had had babies this year alone.
She also said having babies while at school in Tembisa was more like a competition than a mistake.
"Schoolgirls fall pregnant by choice in our school.
"They have this belief that if they want to be seen as real women they must have babies."
Another student chimed in: "The worst part about this practice is that my fellow pupils do not realise the danger they are putting themselves in.
"We are being educated about sex regarding the effects it has on one's life in the guidance classes. But still any person who falls pregnant wants to do so."
A recent study by the Medical Research Council found that the number of pregnant schoolgirls in Gauteng had increased from 1169 in 2005 to 2336 last year.
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