OSHAKATI, 30 MAY – More than 130 learners fell pregnant in the Oshana Region in the first term of 2018.
The region’s Education Director, Hileni Amukana told the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Resources and Community Development during their visit to the region on Wednesday the directorate recorded 132 pregnancies.
The first term ended at the end of April.
“Thirty-five of the learners who fell pregnant have dropped out of school,” she said.
The regional statistics indicated that the Oshakati Circuit had the highest number of pregnancies (34), followed by the Oluno Circuit with 31 pregnant learners, Onamutai with 30 pregnant learners and Eheke with 25 pregnant learners.
Twelve girls fell pregnant in the Ompundja Circuit.
The directorate for the whole of last year recorded 312 pregnancies, with 27 pregnancies registered in the first term.
Older statistics for Oshana showed that 119 learners fell pregnant in 2010; 95 in 2011; 120 in 2012; 124 in 2013; 86 in 2014; 127 in 2015 and 103 in 2016.
Amukana said her region has put in place pregnancy prevention activities such as sensitisation of school management on the implementation of the Education Sector Policy on Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy.
Also speaking at the meeting, Oshana Regional Councillor for the Uukwiyuushona Constituency, Andreas Amundjindi said a lack of parental supervision for children attending schools without boarding facilities away from home is a primary contributing factor.
In many cases, learners end up renting shacks in informal settlements.
A member of the committee, Eunice Ipinge said national statistics also contain disturbing figures that show 1 797 learners fell pregnant countrywide in 2014; while 1 843 learners fell pregnant in 2015. The number increased sharply to 4 000 learners in 2016.
“Ohangwena is the region with the highest teenage pregnancy rate nationally,” said Ipinge.
The Standing Committee on Human Resources and Community Development, led by Lucia Nghaamwa, started their regional visits in the Ohangwena Region on Tuesday.
After the Oshana visit on Wednesday they will proceed to Opuwo in the Kunene Region on Thursday.
They are conducting public hearings seeking regional input on a motion on teenage pregnancy tabled in the National Assembly by the Popular Democratic Movement’s Elma Dienda last year.