Teen pregnancies decreasing, says study

TEENAGE pregnancies have been on the decline though the rate remains unacceptably high, according to a survey released in Johannesburg on Friday.

TEENAGE pregnancies have been on the decline though the rate remains unacceptably high, according to a survey released in Johannesburg on Friday.

Provinces that currently showed high pregnancy rates include Eastern Cape, with 69 pregnant pupils per 1000 registered, KwaZulu-Natal with 62 and Limpopo with 60 per 1000 registered.

The study was conducted by the Human Sciences Researcj Council (HSRC) on behalf of the Department of Education.

The report states that the decline can be attributed to increased access to information and improved contraception use.

"This doesn't mean it's no longer a problem," Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, pictured, said .

She said teenage pregnancy remained a major challenge facing young people in South Africa today as it compromised their futures and their emotional and physical well-being.

"The drop is noted and appreciated," school governing body spokesperson Mahlomola Kekana said. "But parents need to educate their children about sexuality."

Motshekga said there was a need to discuss supplyingcondoms at schools and for promoting abstinence.

The department plans to amend guidelines set out in 2007 requiring pupils who give birth to stay at home for two years to care for their babies before returning to school.

The results were released the same week that an 18-year-old student at Rakgotso High School in Pretoria gave birth in the school toilets.

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