Zimbabwe has made it illegal for schools to expel pupils who get pregnant.
It was reported that parents of pregnant girls, and/or the girls themselves, decide to quit schooling due to the pregnancy.
Cain Mathema, the education minister in charge of schools said: ““I’m expecting every parent and guardian and everyone else to understand that every child must be assisted by all of us to go to school. Every child whether boy or girl… has a right to go to school in Zimbabwe”.
This move is aimed at addressing gender inequality in the classroom and discouraging many girls from dropping out of school.
A legal amendment was announced last week in Zimbabwe and it seeks to reinforce a 1999 guideline that was patchily implemented.
Media report confirmed that the decision was made over fears of a rise in sexual abuse and unwanted pregnancies. The need for a law like this was re-enforced by the fact that schools have been closed since the Coronavirus pandemic struck.
Schools are said not be doing enough to encourage pregnant girl to stay.
Zimbabwe’s Education Ministry statistics revealed that in 2018, 12.5% of the country’s roughly 57,500 school dropouts stopped attending classes due to pregnancy or marriage reasons and that almost all of were girls.