Ministry will help pregnant dropouts, says Thwaites

He also implores principals and other secondary school administrators to assist in re-admitting the girls into the education system, citing that this is “mandatory”.

Speaking at a recent forum, hosted by the Association of Principals and Vice Principals, at Moneague College in St Ann, Rev Thwaites underscored the need for the schools and communities, to which the girls are attached, to provide the level of support that will enable them to resume normal lives.

He also urged administrators at the schools where the youngsters were enrolled to assist them in accessing all of the interventions necessary to facilitate this.

“Make sure that she goes to the Women’s Centre, and gets the kind of help and counselling (that is available). I hope that we would be broad minded enough to recognize that (a student becoming pregnant) is not a crime. What she has (delivered)…is new life into this world,” he said.

The Minister also implored the school community, where possible, to welcome her back “because she has a difficulty and needs help to overcome (that), rather than (be subjected to) scorn.”

“If she can’t, or if it is not wise for her to go back to that school, the principal and the teachers…must facilitate her being admitted to another school,” he stressed.

Thwaites also emphasized the need for the girls to take advantage of the interventions being provided and avoid getting pregnant again before completing their secondary education.

“I have seen too many girls who fall into a second pregnancy. Let us try and use our (efforts) to strengthen each other (and prevent such reoccurrences),” the Minister said, while urging the youngsters to contact the Ministry to get assistance.

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