Molautsi Secondary School at Blood River near Polokwane, Limpopo, has confirmed that it has 27 learners who are pregnant.
Three weeks ago an 18-year-old from the school gave birth to triplets. The babies’ father is a fellow learner.
The majority of the pregnant learners are in grade 12.
A 19-year-old learner who spoke to the SABC on condition of anonymity says she chose not to use contraceptives and is coping well with the pregnancy.
“It is not affecting me in any way. I have passed my mid-year exams. I’m hoping to pass my trial exams without any failure. I was taught about issues of education at school. I knew everything I just decided not to prevent. My mom took me to the clinic to prevent and then i decided to do it my own way. Are you prepared for a child? No I’m not prepared but then its life. I have accepted.”
President of the Learners Representative Council, Tumelo Maiganya has appealed to adults to talk to their children about sex.
“Parents should talk to their children about the risk of having unprotected sex, including falling pregnant. Teachers and health workers also have a role to play so that we can avoid these pregnancies.”
The deputy principal at the school, Joseph Phaleng has cited lack of parental guidance and substance abuse as contributing factors to the high rate of teenage pregnancy.
“We have child headed families. We also have orphans and substance abuse I think is very serious in the community and as a school we are having different programs like for instance life orientation in class. They cover issue of learner pregnancy. We also invite NGO’s in our school to come and try to motivate these learners. We had a meeting with the parents of grade 12 learners so we are talking about this issue.”
Other schools in Blood River also have several pregnant learners. However, Molautsi has the highest number. All of the pregnant learners are 18 and 19-years-old.
Spokesperson of the Limpopo Education Department Sam Makondo says the problem happens outside schools. He says there should be a collective intervention.