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Pregnant in Grade 3

More primary school girls are getting pregnant- as young as 8-years-old.

crying girl

Image: Via Shutterstock

Some astounding figures about pregnancies in schools have been released in a report, according to TimesLive. What’s frightening is the year-on-year rise in the pregnancy rates amongst girls as young as 8-years-old.

The figures come from a report compiled by the Department of Basic Education entitled "The Annual Surveys for Ordinary Schools for 2009-2010". Here are the primary school pregnancy rates, according to the report:

•    In Grade 3 about 109 pupils fell pregnant in 2009 compared with 17 in the same grade the previous year.
•    In Grade 4, the number increased to 107 from 69 the previous year
•    In Grade 5 297 girls fell pregnant in 2009.
•    The highest concentration of pregnant pupils was in high schools, from Grade 7 to Grade 9.
•    In 2009, a total of 45276 girls became pregnant

Professor Kobus Maree, a lecturer in educational psychology at the University of Pretoria, was quoted as saying that the Grade 3 pregnancy rate was "appalling" and "deeply upsetting". A large number of these children became pregnant because of rape or abuse, he said.

The stats raise many worrying questions. To the parent of a daughter in Grade 3, it’s almost inconceivable that someone that young would be capable of making an informed decision about her own body- an 8-year-old lacks the emotional maturity to engage in a sexual relationship with a full understanding of what is going on.

Flawed laws?

As for the law, well, legislation is now being fast-tracked to cover loopholes in the Sexual Offences Act. Currently, some offences have no penalty under the Sexual Offences Act, including sexual assault, consensual sexual acts with children, sexual exploitation and grooming of children, and sexual offences against mentally disabled people.

What can be done to prevent young kids from becoming pregnant?
By: Scott Dunlop

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