Following the resistance by Bulawayo residents to a proposal in the Education Amendment Bill to allow pregnant pupils to continue with their studies was on Monday, people have expressed various and diverging views on the matter.
Posting via twitter, an account named @MilayoNdou said:
You gain nothing by banning pregnant students from school.
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That pregnant student is already in a bad situation, might be a victim of statutory rape (depending on age), will likely be subjected to abuse (if her family force her into marriage, which is the default response)
There are superstitions associated with pregnant women. Some believe that a pregnant woman makes those around them sleepy. That this belief exists was supported by various socialites including @SibandaSibbs who said:
This is an interesting topic. I would be interested to know how parents and students feel about lifting the ban which i fully support. Growing up we were made to believe that a pregnant classmate made us sleepy in class. I would have objected to keeping them at school then.
@JobertNgwenya reacted to this saying:
Kikikiki do we sleep at work because our workmates are pregnant or at church because umama othile is pregnant?
Others who also advocate the lifting of the ban argue that pregnancy does not have any adverse impact on other students. @thomas_morec gave an illustration to prove that. Also, the Thomas believes the ban can have impending effects on the unborn child. The twitter handle posted:
Did she get pregnant because she was in class with a pregnant classmate?! Let her continue with her education. That kid needs and deserves an educated mother.
Others who shared their sentiments on twitter believe that those in the education sector can actually tap into the issue and use it to educate learners. One account said:
Banning is such a missed opportunity to educate both the girl and the boy about the pregnancy journey. It’s an opportunity for the boy to understand what the stages the girl will be going through. An opportunity to show both kids love and not hate.
There are also others who argue that education remains a right for eveyone despite their status.
Pregnant or not, any person cannot be deprived of education. They are pregnant because some (inconsiderate, irresponsible) man did this to them, maybe by force, trickery or whatever. Let the girl child go to school, against all odds. Girls MUST learn.
Meanwhile, there are still others who support the ban and the resistance by Bulawayo residents. They believe that pregnant students can be bad influence to others.
Others think that pregnancy is too complicated to handle at school. One twitter account holder who claimed to be a teacher and husband said:
I have seen my wife having problems each time she was pregnant especially the early part. And also being a teacher of over 25 years, am not surprised that chn can indulge in sex, but concerned about the welfare of that learner and peers.
Still, some belive reasons proffered to support the ban do not hold water.