The reprecussions of girls dropping out of school due to
pregnancy cannot be underestimated.

To my dismay, was shocked to discover that according to SA Stats 2011 reports, 20 000 children who SHOULD be at school were NOT, yet the South African Schools Act requires that children up to the age of 15 MUST attend school. A massive 48 000 children aged 16 -18 years  are not attending school of which 27%  of the  50 000, citied money as the reason for not being in school.

There are 24 500 public schools in the Republic of South Africa and about 15 300, which cater  for more than 7 million pupils that do NOT charge any school fees. As appalling as this seems, leads me to question, “Why are they not in school then, The Department of Education has provided, why are they not  taking advantage of such opportunities?”
Well, the Reasons for such behaviour from the teenagers were:

·         Pregnancy
·         Violence in schools
·         Lack of transport
·         Illness
·         Family commitments
·         “I'm too busy”
·         Lack of interest,
·          and believe it or not, “Education is useless”


Think about it: How and where do we begin to instil the importance of education taken into consideration the presently high youth unemployment rate amongst Matric and tertiary graduates in the country?

Do we have a chance, perhaps- to fooling them into going back to school?


Of those kids who were in school, 6% said lack of school textbooks was 1 of their obstacles in learning which is quite a great improvement from the economies  21% rate in 2002.

In 2011 alone, 510 000 girls had given birth and 13 000 girls were pregnant.

One can only do so much to prevent a young woman, driven by adolescence and the anxiety to fulfil the curiosity of lust, from falling pregnant.
The problem of teenage pregnancy amongst school girls is a major concern and is a constraint in elimination of gendered parties in education.

With teenage pregnancy being the common denominator contributing to the high level of high school drop outs amongst other reasons pertaining to lack of financial ability, violence and lack of interest in the education system, leads me to tapping into the pregnancy pandemic (so it will be if not already is) and determining solutions to best reduce the level of such in schools.

To add, condoms are available in some schools, but why then is the rate of pregnancy not cutting down?  Immediate assumption is that, though education pertaining to life science is offered (in theory) the young school boys do not know HOW to use the condoms.

We need to come to terms with the fact that learners ARE
having sex and that this will NOT change.


 Solutions I best believe could assist with our national dilemma after the staggeringly high youth unemployment rate amongst countless socio-economic challenges are:

1.      Condom dispensers

To add more condom dispensers in schools with the highest and lowest pregnancy rates because, it is not guaranteed that the first pregnancy is the last, The more kids they have as they themselves are kids and unemployed, the deeper they plunder themselves into the roots of poverty

2.      Practical Life-orientated Education

Life orientation and biology (life sciences) can  teach a child so much, yet even so much more meets imagination and anxiety to have the curiosity fulfilled. Teaching the boys and girls how to use condoms would come in very handy.

Girls have the advantage that with female condoms, one can wear them more than 4 hours BEFORE engaging in sexual intercourse, which means WOMEN should too be thought how to utilise and where to find protection. (Women condom’s are also useful to combat the level of unwanted pregnancies resulted through rape- having a female condom on every 6 hours (due to uncertainty of the dangers that might arise, hense some live in poor conditions looted by rapists, also prevents contact with sexually transmitted diseases).
              Easier access to birth control should also be taken into thought.

3.      Leadership Development Programs

In the most impoverished areas in South Africa, I noticed the lack of leadership development initiatives and peer mentorship groups. The young girls and boys have no lucrative mentors who they aspire to be like (besides role models they only see on the entertainment screens -who don’t often portray corrective standards of living). Now having leadership development programs that the children can engage in to keep them  busy after school comes to great use as well as allow schools to integrate and hold networking seminars and workshops and conferences so  children can meet, learn and be influenced by other children from other school that they are not used to.

4.      Keeping them busy, more sports

Keeping them busy is basically the prioritised mandate, that leads me to encouraging more sports and participation in extra mural activities. Come to think of it the only 2 primary sports in disadvantages areas is Netball for the girls and soccer for the boys, with both being  competitive sports, means only a selected few get the opportunity of being in the sports group and represent  the school where hundreds of others  who have the desire to engage in sports (yet lack the skill to do so - which can be enhanced easily through practise- are left behind. Then what do they do? They keep themselves busy the best way THEY know or think how. Which is also where substance abuse comes into play, which is on its self a social issue amongst the youth in South Africa.

5.      Teachers need to be motivated.

Could the teachers be the ones to blame? One could only investigate and wonder. Some teachers still teach discipline through violence which scares the children away as previously mentioned that they list violence as one of their primary reasons why they leave school.
Trust me, from experience and with a family that started off as teachers and retiring after more than 20 years of teaching though retiring  still in their early grown ages, I sure can tell you  plenty about being surrounded by children of all personalities, more than 30 and above in a single class on a daily basis.
Teachers need to be more motivated, inspired to wake up in the morning and  deliver a sermon on  the days subject and topic at hand. The department surely must have tried something of such sort, but just as it is important to make education creative and fun, teachers need to also feel the fun aspect when delivering their topics to the children.

6.      Granting the children recognition for accomplishments

From my experience or rather perspective, children LOVE being given recognition. Therefore influencing teachers yet again to give children recognition and motivation will enhance the child’s devotion on their education and ability to do better.

7.      Using Imagination to build interest in school

The use of imagination, children are the most imaginative human species one could find on the face of this earth, especially those younger than 10, but they then again need motivation and inspiration to imagine and predict their future’s after all: "The way through a child’s heart is through his mind.”
Having them engage in activities that will stimulate their intellectual capacity and ability to think they can be; “ anything they want to be, you can be who you aspire, dream and want to be , proved that you give in the equal input (effort ) to get the desired output (results)”


Lastly, we have always began in the beginning by  identifying a problem and through determining what the problem is, believe finding a solution is the best and quickies t way to change the situation for the better. And though we find solutions that do better lives, it is also about high time we sit the children down and ask them “what can we do for YOU”, “what do YOU want” and take it from there...

TWITTER : @zanelemabaso23

Career-Orientated Volunteerism

After reviewing a number of graduate opportunities and programmes around the country and particularly focusing on the Gauteng region. Had noticed that the Johannesburg region had invited close to 500 graduates who have participated in the Youth Career Development Programme since 2008 and gave them opportunities in the job market at various departments within the region, giving the young graduates experience in sports and recreation, administration and capital projects amongst a few, which is an overwhelming experience for the graduates and quite a big step for the City of Johannesburg and moving towards an active development plan for the unemployment pandemic in Gauteng.

I certainly was moved by the departments step to motivating the graduates to look way beyond getting employed, though we know that even with a 3 year degree qualification, it is still hard to find employment and where ever you turn to as a graduate (whether a Matric or Tertiary graduate) you are faced with an institution willing to enhance your skills but not offer any source of financial  support which is what the youth really want. The youth want jobs, they want financial security, They go to school so that they are not lingered by poverty, they believe and know that without an education one will not have a prosperous future,  they want to move out of their parents home who initially put them through school to get a qualification with the hope that they will come back home and provide financial assistance to the family so they don’t sink deeper into poverty, the moment that  the graduate comes home without having acquired any experience or opportunity in the job market... it is then a struggle to get into the job market after that.

With that being said the graduates were encouraged to look beyond getting employed  but rather into being multi skilled, and were mentored to considering  volunteerism in order to acquire more experience and to become entreprneurens who would create many jobs for young  people.

Which make me happy because this is the initial step into social entrepreneurship, them working towards the creation of jobs for the youth signifies that they will have identified the problem pertaining to it which is the staggeringly high youth unemployment rate in South Africa, let alone the unemployment rate amongst the youth being the highest in Gauteng, nationally. Identifying a problem, coming up with ideas to deal with it and of the ideas coming up with an innovative solution that will best fix the problem. In that way impact is made through implementation and results are achieved.  All together having identified and addressed the social need, Which leads to an introduction of Project IMPACT!  which is one of the initiatives that aim to tackle pressing challenges through impact at The Young Social Entrepreneurs Academy. The graduates get to experience Project IMPACT which is all about ensuring that tertiary graduates have valuable work experience and skills to secure job opportunities by contributing to the development of their communities, by providing experience for the graduates through intensive skills development training focusing on personal and professional aspects and then allow them to engage in career-orientated volunteerism. Graduates thereafter not only  gain valuable work experience but also contribute to the development of their communities. They learn and enhance their current skills, making them multi-skilled and able to perform various tasks and activities, further more have the potential of starting their own social or business enterprises after the graduate programme.

Community Development’s Executive Director Dudu Maseko shared with graduates at the reception on how volunteerism has opened doors for her. And that’s exactly what Project IMPACT! At The Young Social Entrepreneurs Academy - YSEA exists for...”opening doors of opportunities through career-orientated volunteerism”

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