By Tafadzwa Chigandiwa
The government has encouraged students who fell pregnant during the lockdown period to return back to school and continue with their education.
This was said during Tuesday’s post cabinet briefing in Harare by the Permanent Secretary for Secondary and Primary Education Tumisang Thabela.
“According to the education act and even our own pieces of legislation before, pregnancy does not mean a closure to a child’s education program.
“We allow all them (pregnant pupils) to come back to school and continue with their education programs and always stop when they need to go and deliver. Afterwards we encourage them to come back and continue,” she said.
Thabela also revealed that government has already lined up an alternative in place particularly for those who are not comfortable with the idea of returning to school while pregnant.
“For those who are not comfortable to that we have the non-formal education program as another root to accessing education,” she revealed.
The Permanent Secretary of Education also disclosed that such pupils will be well catered for through government support, guidance and counselling structures.
She went on to say that they are pyscho-social support programs to accept that pregnant pupils are no longer children that the society used to know but now have a new role of mother to be to play.
In support to this, she said they are still learner who still have to continue with their education programs.
The recently amended Education Act of Zimbabwe indicates that no child should be expelled or excluded from school on the basis of pregnancy.
But its main objective is to give a huge precedence to the fundamental rights required by all school-going children in Zimbabwe, be it at a government school or a private institution.