Baby-not-now programme brought to schools in Umzinyathi District

Distribution of dolls, blankets, milk bottles, etc.

The Department of Education has introduced a Baby-Not-Now Programme in order to fight against the high rate of learner pregnancy at schools.
Challenge/Problem
According to the programme coordinator, Mr Nkabinde of Umzinyathi DoE SNES section, headed by Mr Myeza, learner teenage pregnancy is one of the social ills that has become a barrier against learning and development of learners in school. Therefore, it is for this reason that the DoE had decided to let the Baby-Not-Now Programme be part of the action plan in order to strive towards the reduction or eradication of this challenge.
Description of the Programme
It is a week-long programme and it involves the following resources and materials: Dolls, milk bottles, vests and blankets, learner workbooks and facilitator manuals, various topics and worksheets that cover care of the baby, cost and budget, basic sexual health education, health quizzes, risky behaviour, abstinence, time management, rights and responsibilities, etc.
Where has the programme taken place: This programme has recently been conducted at Dlabesuthe High School in Msinga. This school had 25 pregnant learners in 2016, 18 in 2017 and 3 by February 2018.

Learner participants (parental role players).

Hopes are high that with this intervention the pregnancy rate will be significantly lessened at this school.
When the principal of the school, Mrs Maphanga was interviewed about the factors that cause the high rate of pregnancy, she said that truancy, traditions and customs, plus socio-economic status were amongst the issues.
Collaborating work with other stakeholders
For all the social ills that affect learners at school level, the government departments and NGOs work collaboratively through the structure called School Based Support Team (SBST). This team identifies and addresses learner challenges, educator challenges as well as whole school development challenges and it is composed of the principal, HODs as core-members, plus co-opted members that may include community members.
The Baby-Not-Now programme has rolled out in other districts in the Province of KZN particularly in the identified hotspot schools where teenage learner pregnancy is very high.
The Special Needs Education Services (SNES) head, Mr Myeza would like to appeal to the school communities and society at large that they embrace and provide support to the Government and non-government organisations that bring service delivery to them as it is depicted in the slogan that states “Together we move South Africa forward”

  AUTHOR
Northern Natal Courier

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