Mamelodi school under investigation for policy excluding pregnant learners

Gauteng Department of Education has announced a probe into Stanza Bopape Secondary School

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Stanza Bopape Secondary School in Mamelodi, east of Tshwane, is under investigation over its pregnant learners’ admission policy. Photo: Warren Mabona

On Thursday last week, the day after GroundUp requested comment from the Gauteng Department of Education about an admission policy at Stanza Bopape Secondary School which excludes certain pregnant learners, the department announced its decision to probe the school.

In January the Mamelodi school implemented a policy (as stated in section 7 of its 2023 admission policy prospectus) that requires pregnant learners to stay home until they have given birth, unless their parents can come to school daily and look after them.

Spokesperson Steve Mabona said the department had instructed the school to immediately withdraw any such policy, and the school governing body must review and align its admission policy with the National Policy for the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy in Schools. Pregnant learners have a right to continue and complete their basic education.

“We have launched an investigation and corrective measures will be applied accordingly,” said Mabona.

“A pregnant learner must submit a fitness report to the school after each pre- and post-natal examination at their local health facility to ensure the health and wellness of the pregnant learner and her unborn child, and to avoid the pregnant learner developing complications while at school,” said Mabona.

Grade 11 learner Gift Mthokozisi said, “I’m not a girl, but I’m grateful for the department for taking this action because it will protect the rights of my fellow learners.”

Grade nine learner Gomolemo Moswa said, “Our parents also have many things to do at home and should not be required to come to school and look after their pregnant children.”

We spoke to five parents who all condemned the policy.

The principal of Stanza Bopape Secondary School, identified as Mr B Malepe in the admission policy document of this school, declined to give GroundUp his first name when contacted today and referred all of our questions to the department.

GroundUp is unaware of any learners that did not attend school because of the policy.

TOPICS:  Education

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