Obrein Simasiku OMUTHIYA – Some learners in Oshikoto Region have fingered peer pressure, which includes an insatiable lust for money, as a leading contributor to teenage pregnancy among themselves. They also said lack of parental guidance was another catalyst to the scourge. Learners mostly envy and tend to copy their peers in terms of lifestyle, and later end up getting caught up in the limelight. They stated that most of the learners that fall pregnant are engaged in sexual relationships with older men, who in turn give them money and material things. This is influenced by lack of parental support – especially in material terms – which leads learners to engage in sexual acts in exchange for resources. Learners at Iipundi Senior Secondary School in Omuthiya shared these sentiments during a meeting organised by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resources and Community Development. The interaction pertained to the motion on the impact of teenage pregnancy. As part of the nationwide consultations, the committee was interacting with learners, parents and teachers on what is to be done to reduce teenage pregnancy and why it is so prevalent among school-going children. “We would like to find out why and what are the reasons for the high pregnancy rate among learners. Could it be that you are forced or raped? Tell us as lawmakers what is happening on the ground that we are not seeing, apart from the pregnancies, so that you can guide us and see how we can strengthen or amend the policy,” said Elma Dienda, who is part of the standing committee. On the other hand, the deputy chairperson and leader of the committee, Margaret Mahoto, informed the learners that the information to be gathered will be tabled in cabinet for discussion for final discussion and a decision on what solutions or measures are to be put in place. “Honestly I am not happy to note that 127 young children fall pregnant every day in our country – this is a high number if you multiply it by 365 days. That’s why we are here to hear from you on what are the challenges and how would you want the situation to be alleviated,” stressed Mahoto. “Getting pregnant is not a fashion, it is a bad thing to emulate just because your friend got impregnated and you want to feel how it is. Getting pregnant at such a young age brings poverty,” cautioned Mahoto. Meanwhile, during the deliberations some parents admitted that there is negligence on their part in terms of parenting and providing support..
New Era Reporter
2018-08-02 09:17:14 6 months ago