Latwell Nyangu, H-Metro Reporter
Parents have welcomed the move not to exclude girls who fall pregnant from attending lessons.
The development comes after Parliament passed the Education Act Amendment which was approved by President Mnangagwa.
Under the amendments, “No pupil shall be excluded from school for non-payment of school fees or on the basis of pregnancy.”
H-Metro asked some parents on how they view the development.
Mai Sharon of Harare said the Act was long overdue.
“It’s very noble, for a long time the girl child has been bearing the brunt of things done by two people.
“Most of these girls do not even get married to the people who get them pregnant hence the pregnancy becomes a double curse.
“Allow the girl child to have access to education which might guarantee her freedom tomorrow.
“In the same vain its high time parents accept reality and our children are maturing faster than we do and are exposed to sexual content more than our times.
“Sex education should be done between parents and their children lest someone teaches our kids wrong things.
“Two realities exist: Abstinence and protection. Pregnancy is not the only thing to worry about, what about diseases,” she said.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Farirai Mamombe who said;
“It’s in two ways, it can be good or bad and I cannot skip a pregnant teenage at home and she loses her education.
“So I am forced to look after her and the child so continuing with her academic would also means that she will have a better future.
“But while at school, she can face stigmitisation and being pregnant can also affect those who not.
“It can make other children think that it’s normal to fall pregnant whilst at school.
“At the end of the day, I have to encourage my child not to get pregnant and once they fall pregnant they have destroyed their future.”
Another parent interviewed by H-Metro Magaret Chirairo said:
“It is a noble idea considering that when one falls pregnant, it doesn’t mean she is not capable of reading or write.
“You might be pregnant and you may go in an exam where one can perform better than those ones who may not be pregnant.
‘This is a good idea, it’s not like we are promoting misbehaviour, but I see no reason for them not to continue with their educations, or with their exams.
“Considering that the boy child was allowed to school regardless to the fact he is the one who has impregnated.
“So allowing them back to school means they have built a future of the girl child.
“Falling pregnant doesn’t mean, that’s the end of the road.
“Being pregnant doesn’t mean one has become disabled.”
Another parent Rumbidzai Matinanga said:
“This is the best news for parent, no parent wants their child to drop out of school because of their poor choices as a child after all they are just but children.
“At least now the girl’s life does not end academically while the boy continues.
“However to note this means preparing the child psychologically even at home, assure them regardless of the other kids possibly ridiculing you.
“This is the best decision you will ever make,” she said.
Another parent said, Never Nyakapanga said the move was long overdue.
“I think this is a good move, as this will also give a future to the girl child who has been side-lined for long time.
“She gets pregnant and she drops from school while the boy continues.
“There has been the unfair part on that regard, so getting her back to school strike a balance on empowering the girl child as well.”
Paul Chiwanza said:
“This is a balance in the fight for gender equality especially for empowering the girl child.
“The only problem that will come is of stigmitisation, embarrassment but I recommend the authorities to gazette as well the policies that can protect the victims of pregnancy.
“At least now, no one should drop from school because of pregnancy, the boy is no longer on top of the situation.
“This is also a lesson to learners that they should abstain from sex to avoid such.”