School babies 'scary'

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

The alarming rate of gymslip pregnancies is a "scary problem that is out of control", says Gauteng education MEC Angie Motshekga.

Motshekga, pictured, told Sowetan after addressing pupils at Fons Luminis Secondary School in Diepkloof, Soweto, that pregnancies, violence and substance abuse at schools were a major problem in the province.

At Fons Luminis there were 33 pregnant girls by the end of the third term this year alone. And these are in grades 9 and 10, aged between 16 and 17 years.

Motshekga said that quarterly reports showed there was a rise in schoolgirl pregnancies.

"The pregnancies are out of control and this has proven that they were now a scary problem," she said.

"The reproductive rights education that we were giving to the pupils has not been successful."

She said the department was engaged in talks with Gauteng health MEC, Brian Hlongwa, to see how his department could help with the problem.

Motshekga said school violence in the township was not a problem when compared with private schools.

"Eighty-five percent of schools are black and the violence there is minimum. The fighting and killings do not happen inside the school premises but outside and at social gatherings," she said.