Flushing away opportunities

It is disturbing to see school children loitering in shopping malls instead of being in class.

It is disturbing to see school children loitering in shopping malls instead of being in class.

The antics of the RW Fick Secondary School pupils who bunk classes and have sex in public toilets is a shocking indicator of the poor appreciation of education's value.

The pupils deliberately come to school late knowing that they will be locked out. They then mill around malls, until it is time to go home.

This scenario is common in the urban areas. Parents send their children to school thinking that they will be protected as well as educated. Many parents are illiterate and readily accept whatever excuse their children give for doing poorly at school.

A report from the Marie Stopes clinics says a large percentage of the 250000 abortions terminated last year were of teenagers.

Society cannot afford to let these children slip through the cracks. We will pay dearly in later years when the public purse, through social services, has to subsidise these semi-literates who will be unemployable.

They will help to perpetuate the cycle of poverty and dependence that bedevils our country.

Teachers and parents need to widen the scope of sex education to include the social, economic and personal downside of teenage pregnancy.

School governing bodies and-or the education department should introduce measures to curb truancy and reduce the dropout rate.

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