Following the announcement by UNEB, allowing pregnant girls in candidate classes to register for their final exams, we would like to warn teachers, parents, fellow students and the public (including neighborhoods), against acts of discrimination and stigmatization of these pregnant girls.
You are all aware the Covid-19 period has been burdensome for girls more than boys especially in unsupervised/uncontrolled settings. As a result girls were vulnerable to sexual abuse, pregnancy and even child marriages.
Even with the new developments, girls with early pregnancies are still faced challenges of returning to school which included, fear of being ridiculed with discriminated against, shyness, low self-esteem, fear of being frowned at and labeled young mothers, harassment from peers. In addition some of the parental attitudes and the insensitive school environments and other public space may work against the furtherance of education for these pregnant girls. Already on social media, we can see people making fun and mockery of pregnant pupils.
Instead of discriminating against them, we need to let the girls know the prospects of returning to school, and that they have the potential to excel and overcome the challenges they are facing.
We therefore, call upon all Head teachers, Parents, Guardians, LCs and other stakeholders to ensure students who are with early pregnancies, are protected and continue to participate in class and extracurricular activities. For these in advanced pregnancies reasonable adjustments in the learning environment and allow time for missed work in their homes.
A pregnant student has the same education rights as every other girl student.
CP Enanga Fred
26th October 2020