Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Tuesday snubbed non-governmental organizations that were pushing for readmission of teen mothers, saying he will never change his position, warned that he will sack headmasters who allow teen mothers back to school after delivery.
Last month, Magufuli ordered that impregnated school girls not to be readmitted to school after delivery.
Speaking on his second day of his tour of Lake Zone regions, the president said he would never dance to the tunes of NGOs advocating for readmission of the teen mothers.
“The government has set aside 8 million U.S. dollars budget for free education delivery. It is upon parents and guardians to ensure that their girls are not impregnated so that they can enjoy this free education,” said Magufuli.
The president He said his administration has not prevented people from getting education but it wanted to make a nation of disciplined individuals.
Magufuli said last month that impregnated school girls could engage in other undertakings after they give birth, including joining the Vocational Education Training Authority centers where they can learn skills like sewing.
“They should not expect going back to school under my administration,” Magufuli said, adding that if allowed back to school, they could encourage others to engage in unprotected sex.
Some NGOs have of late been pressuring the government to allow teen mothers back to school. Some urged the government to formulate a legal framework that would allow teenage mothers to resume studies after giving birth.
Haki Elimu, a non-profit civil society organization, said recently that early pregnancy was some of the factors behind school girls’ failure to finish their studies.
A study carried out by the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences revealed that pregnancy was one of the major reasons for school dropout among teenage girls in the East African nation.
In 2007, pregnancy accounted for 21.9 percent of secondary schools dropout, said the study, adding that Mtwara region in south of the country was one of the leading areas in Tanzania for teenage pregnancy.
The study showed that school dropout caused by pregnancy increased from 5.2 percent in 2003 to 21.9 percent in 2017.
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Jean Baptiste Karegeya
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