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Five school girls forced out over pregnancy

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Thursday, January 9, 2020

School Girls Marching During the Launch of the 2nd Phase of the Girl's Education South Sudan Program in Juba - August 21, 2019 - File Photo. Credit: Majak Malak/GESS.

Authorities in Maridi State have revealed that five girls were forced to terminate their studies after they got pregnant while in school.

The students from both primary and secondary schools were dismissed from school last year by the State Ministry of Education.

Those whose studies were interrupted include four from a Secondary School in Maridi town and one from Ibba Primary School.

According to the state Minister of Education in Maridi, the girls were impregnated by some members of the community.

“In fact four girls were detected pregnant and they were sent back home within Maridi county alone,” Joseph Liya Danima said. “It is not allowed because it will set a bad example and psychologically it will encourage such kind of practices among those who are attending school.”

Mr. Danima defended the decision, saying the move would discourage early pregnancy among school-going girls.

“It is better they are sent back home until they deliver and if they are in position of getting back to school, there is no objection,” he added.

However, Mr. Danima could not explain whether there was any action taken against those who got the young girls pregnant.

According to Chapter Two of the 2012 General Education Act, primary education shall be free and compulsory to all citizens in South Sudan without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, and ethnicity, health status including HIV/AIDS, gender or disability.

But the law does not define whether pregnant school girls should be dismissed from school or not.

In 2018, at least 2.2 million children in South Sudan were out of school-representing one of the highest rates of out-of-school children in the world, according to the government and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The the report said the situation was not particularly favorable to girls many of whom are kept from school due to poverty, early marriage, dangers in traveling to class and having too many chores at home.

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