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It is now illegal for Zimbabwe schools to expel pregnant girls

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Zimbabwe has made it illegal for schools in the country to expel students who get pregnant. Women’s Right Activists has hailed the decision as a measure that will tackle inequality in the classroom and discourage girls from dropping out of school..




A legal amendment announced last week seeks to reinforce a 1999 guideline that was patchily implemented, and comes as school closures due to coronavirus raise fears of a rise in sexual abuse and unwanted pregnancies.

Many parents of pregnant girls, or the girls themselves, decide to quit schooling due to the pregnancy, and schools do not always do enough to encourage them to stay, officials say.


“I’m expecting every parent and guardian and everyone else to understand that every child must be assisted by all of us to go to school,” Cain Mathema, the education minister in charge of schools, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation this week

“Every child whether boy or girl… has a right to go to school in Zimbabwe,” he said.

In 2018, 12.5% of the country’s roughly 57,500 school dropouts stopped attending classes due to pregnancy or marriage reasons – almost all of them girls, according to Education Ministry statistics.

Sibusisiwe Ndlovu, the communications specialist at Plan International Zimbabwe welcomed the new legislation as a step in the right direction.

“This amendment is crucial in fulfilling the access to education right for all children – especially girls,” Ndlovu said

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