Over the last past few years, South Africa has seen a rise in teenage pregnancies. This has influenced the matric pass rate negatively, because fewer learners finished school. Schools need to start implementing strategies on how to decrease the rate of teenagers becoming pregnant, as this is becoming a national crisis.
Teenagers need to have a comprehensive understanding of abstinence, contraceptives and the consequences of having unprotected sex.
The fact that in many communities girls are brought up to be submissive to their male counterparts means that they are often vulnerable in teenage relationships. Educators need to focus on changing this mentality by investing more time in educating these young females about the risks involved in having sex — whether its with or without condoms — and teaching young girls about what their rights and boundaries are, and how to assert them.
In a quest to decrease the rate of teenage pregnancy, the government has advised schools to put condoms in the school bathrooms and classrooms. This strategy is meant to encourage learners to always use protection when having sex. However, parents and teacher complained that the strategy only encouraged learners to have sex at school.
Schools need to get parents involved in educating their children about the consequences of having sex. Many adults still do not know the risks of having sex, so how can they be expected to teach their children about the dangers of having sex? Workshops for parents should be held to help them learn about the risks of sex and ways to approach their teenagers about this topic.
Although there are many ways to prevent a teenage girl from becoming pregnant, the only one that is 100% effective is sexual abstinence. We need to encourage our teenagers to abstain; this will also help prevent them from contracting sexually transmitted diseases and particularly, HIV.