106 students dropout, 78 pregnancy cases recorded
An explosive revelation of harrowing challenges that the poverty stricken Kweneng District schools grapple with took centre stage during the opening of the fourth and final session of the ordinary full council meeting in Molepolole this week.
The audience listened in shock and disbelief as they were told of how poor academic performance; high numbers of dropouts and teenage pregnancies have plagued schools in the region for years.
According to a District Development Committee report presented by the District Commissioner, Tebogo Bagopi, a total of 106 cases of school dropouts have been recorded in the region due to various reasons.
This number includes 87 students who deserted, 12 that fell pregnant, while four died and three left due to ill health.
“It is not as easy to adequately address issues of the perpetrators for pregnancy cases as most of them are also defilement and parents of the victims protect perpetrators and fail to report cases,” explained Bagopi.
Meanwhile Bagopi further disclosed that a total of 78 teenage pregnancy cases (including out of school youth) were recorded in the entire region but mostly in Lekgwapheng, Kopong, and Bokaa and Lentsweletau clinics with two cases of defilement.
Lack of birth control implants which have been out of stock since March 2022 was cited as a contributing factor to the rise in teenage pregnancies.
“There is only one youth friendly clinic in the district with no electricity and no implants, which makes it unattractive to its target group,” Bagopi noted
Some of the solutions recommended included prescription of alternative birth control methods to sexually active youth, sex education outreaches and more emphasis to be put on family planning education as well as intensification of parent and child communication.
Stakeholders in attendance agreed to come together to re-model and repackage services to the youth.
Meanwhile it was also revealed that students in the region performed dismally in all exams from primary school leaving exams to form 5.
The council heard that only 19 percent of students who wrote Form 5 (BGCSE) managed to achieve six credits or better, failing to reach the targeted 40 percent.
At Junior Certificate Examination (JCE) those who managed to obtain grade C made 14.5 percent below the set target of 40 percent while in Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) students who obtained grade A to C recorded 57.7 percent below the set target of 80 percent