A coalition of 25 Tanzanian civil society organisations have called on President John Magufuli to change his position on pregnant schoolgirls being allowed to return to school and continue their education.
Last week, President Magufuli told a rally that, in accordance with Tanzanian law, mothers do not belong in school, the BBC reported on Thursday.
“After getting pregnant, you are done,” he said.
The organisations told the media at a press conference in Dar es Salaam that pregnant schoolgirls were neither immoral nor criminal and that, in fact, it was the father of the children who needed to be punished.
“Young girls face more challenges in accessing education than young boys, even without the question of expulsion for pregnancy,” they said in a statement.
“Most of these young girls have already suffered, denying them the right to continue with their education adds to their hardship,” added the statement.
They further advised the Tanzanian government to educate themselves by picking up a tips from neighbouring countries, like Kenya, and even the semi-autonomous Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, where since 2010, girls have been allowed back into school after giving birth as a strategy to reduce the number of school dropouts.