Some parents of learners who are pregnant at schools in the Mulenzhe area outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo say the schools have expelled their children.
Last year, the Limpopo Health Department adopted schools in the area following shocking statistics that more than 30 minor learners had been infected with HIV.
More than 20 learners had also been found to be pregnant.
Some parents say although they are worried that missing a year of schooling may delay their children, they hope it will send a strong message to other young people that they should not engage in unprotected sex.
“It is true that a lot of learners were pregnant, but they have now been expelled from school and told they should return after they have had children. I support the expulsions because they will send a strong message to other learners not to engage in unprotected sex as there are dire consequences. There is a lot that has been expelled; some are even in grade 12. They are just sitting at home doing nothing.”
Meanwhile, Limpopo Education spokesperson Sam Makondo says schools have no authority to expel pregnant learners.
“We get worried when parents say this is expulsion because this is not. Expulsion of learners can only be done by the HOD at the provincial level. A school does not have the authority to expel a learner, but it can recommend expulsion and such an expulsion must be accompanied by relevant documents and statements. The learner must have committed an expellable offense; such a learner must be taken through a disciplinary hearing. So we will definitely be looking at these allegations and getting to the bottom of it.”
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