THE number of teenage pregnancies in Limpopo schools has doubled in recent months.

The problem is compounded by the fact that some of these pupils were made pregnant by their teachers in exchange for better marks.

Limpopo provincial chairperson of school governing bodies Hitler Morwatshehla said: "We have this year had no less than nine cases of children who were made pregnant by their second parents, their teachers, at school."

Statistics show that by this time last year three out of 10 girls in one school in the province were pregnant.

The statistics also showed that the majority of those pregnant were in Grades 10 and 12 and between the ages of 16 and 19.

This year the statistics indicated that four out of 10 children were pregnant in most schools in the province.

The research was undertaken from the beginning of May until the commencement of the examinations in October this year.

It also highlighted that those pregnant were pupils between the same ages as last year in Grades 10 and 12.

Limpopo, KwaZulu- Natal and Eastern Cape have for the past five years topped the list of provinces with the highest number of pregnant pupil in the country.,

It has become clear that the same thing has happened this year.

It has also been found that the majority of pupils who were pregnant last years and those who are pregnant at present were children whose parents were either working but earning a low salary or who who depended on the government's social grants for survival.

Morwatshehla said others were from child-headed families whose parents died either of natural causes or HIV and Aids.

He said parents took advantage of their impoverished background and sexually molested them .

"Our children bunk classes and abuse alcohol or drugs and end up practicing unsafe sex around the shebeens," Morwatshehla said.

Meanwhile, MEC for education Dickson Masemola and officials from the economic and development department visit schools throughout the province to check, among other things, liquor outlets that operate illegally near the schools and attract pupils..

Masemola said liquor outlets that operated illegally near schools would be promptly closed.