Claims of stillborn twins at Outjo school to be probedBy: CLEMANS MIYANICWE
THE Erongo Education Directorate is investigating a case in which a 15-year-old Grade 10 student at the Etoshapoort Junior Secondary School in Outjo was allegedly impregnated by a teacher.
According to information in possession of The Namibian, the girl gave birth to stillborn twins at the Outjo State Hospital in August and is back at school to sit for her Grade 10 exams.
This latest report comes amid reports of an alarming increase in teenage pregnancies.
A report released by the Ministry of Education about pregnancies at schools revealed that the Kavango Region was the hardest hit with 352 cases in 2008, 382 in 2009 and 390 in 2010.
Although, the ministry’s policy allows girls to return to school after giving birth, about 119 dropped out of school in the Kavango Region alone between January and April in 2011.
The high prevalence of pregnancies among schoolgirls is not only a problem in the Kavango Region and according to statistics provided by the Ministry of Education 1 400 pupils dropped out of school countrywide in 2008 because of pregnancy.
The increasing cases of pregnancy among schoolgirls have attracted the attention of the ministry, which is in the process of reviewing its policy on how to handle the issue.
The case at the Etoshapoort Junior Secondary School was not reported by the girl’s mother but by a concerned parent.
The concerned parent informed the education authorities in the region that the teacher who had impregnated the girl had paid off her mother to keep the matter quiet.
No action has so far been taken against the teacher.
The parent who wrote the letter called on the Erongo Education Directorate to investigate the allegations and to take steps against the teacher.
Bernadette Jagger, the acting deputy director of education in the region, confirmed to The Namibian that her office was aware of the allegations and would investigate the matter.
Jagger declined further comment.
The Namibian understands that an investigating team has been appointed by the education directorate.
When contacted, the girl denied having given birth to stillborn twins and threatened to sue The Namibian if the story was published.
The teacher accused of having impregnated the girl said it was the first time he had heard about the allegation.
Earlier, school principal Priscilla Nambahu said she was not aware of the case.
The schoolgirl’s mother could not be reached for comment.