When kids are not aware of the responsibilities attached to bringing up children, you have this kind of thing happening. Having babies in secondary school is a status symbol. A way to feel 'cool'. Who do we blame for this? The society, the school or parental failure? About 30 girls at a secondary school in South Africa are pregnant. Why? Because, according to the kids, competition among boys at this school is said to be the reason for the high number of pregnant girls! When we visited the school recently, they saw about 10 pregnant girls. Apparently others were on maternity leave. We spoke to pupils who said boys at the school thought having a baby made them cool. They said the competition was serious because some of the boys laughed at those who didn’t have children. One boy, who has a four-month-old baby, said the competition started getting intense last year.
“If you want to be cool and respected you must have a child,” he said. One pregnant girl said a fellow pupil was the father of her unborn child but she wouldn’t comment on the competition. A parent, Nozizwe Zondi, 46, said she was aware of the competition. “We need to join forces with teachers and the department to deal with it,” she said.
KZN Education spokesman Muzi Mahlambi said girls should not be in sexual relationships while they are still at school.
“That’s the only thing to beat the high rate of pregnancy,” he said. He said the department had spoken to some of the teachers at the school and agreed that they would advise pupils not to date before they had finished school.