In a circular addressed to all decentralised corps of her ministry, professor Nalova Lyonga has instructed administrators to take appropriate disciplinary measures against any teacher or other staff responsible for a student’s pregnancy. This as cases of teenage pregnancy Reported in schools emanated from school staff.
Minister Nalova in the 5 point document has equally spelled out procedures in handling pregnancy in schools. Henceforth, the pregnant girl will continue school until the 26th week of pregnancy after which she may request a maternity leave and must be allowed to resume studies after delivery provided that all is met for her safe return.
“In the past mostly in boarding schools girls were dismissed due to pregnancy. But this decision of minister Nalova will reduce the rate of female dropouts in schools. This decision is timely and must be saluted for society will no longer see them as a failure in society.” Elizabeth Tabi, journalist.
Contrary to the provisions of January 19 1980 on student pregnancy in government and private secondary schools in Cameroon which proscribed the girls from studying, leaving out the author of the pregnancy often her class or schoolmate, the minister of secondary education said the boy being a student will undergo the same procedures as the girl and both will have psychological and psychosocial support.
Fear of baby boom
To Alphonse Abongwa, “it is a salutary measure because it renders justice to the female student who was always the victim but the boys kept in school“. But many have expressed fears over this ministerial revert as it may in a long run, promote promiscuity in secondary schools “the measure will not be able to address the issue or reduce pregnancy in schools. It could rather increase babyhood as these students aware of the fact that they cannot be dismissed, will carry their pregnancies as a trophy. Adding to that maternity leave, I fear the school is being transformed into a social environment where rules can be infringed at will. We must be careful“, Alphonse Abongwa, journalist.
In previews years, girls found pregnant in schools were dismissed and their education put on a halt. Reason why, some hid their pregnancies and were only discovered during labour in examination halls. Until April 22, 2022 girls were victim of this law. But today the male gender is not left out. Parents, youths, educationists have saluted the move in granting the girl child her education but fear a baby boom in secondary schools if necessary measures are not taken.