The Western Cape education department (WCED) annual survey report released on Thursday revealed that there has been a decline in teen pregnancies over the past three years, from 2 880 in 2015 to 2 148 in 2017. The figure for 2016 was 2 412.
Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schafer said the department had conducted a number of pregnancy prevention workshops aimed at learners of all genders from grades 5 to 11.
In a statement, Schafer said the course content focused on important topics such as teenage sexuality, healthy relationships, sexting and the emotional and legal consequences of sexting, understanding pregnancy, how to avoid teenage pregnancy – targeted at boys and girls – then challenges of being a teen parent and the importance of completing high school and beyond.
“The WCED also has a policy on managing learner pregnancy that is designed to encourage pregnant learners to remain at school and provides guidelines to all concerned to make this possible,” she said.
The Cape Winelands Education District in 2016 launched a pregnancy prevention programme aimed at boys, focusing on the role of the male partner in pregnancy prevention.
“It is my hope that these courses and projects will empower our learners to make responsible choices, and that it will assist in providing them with essential coping skills to stand up to peer, societal and social media pressures,” Schafer said.