The Zambia National Men’s Network for Gender and Development (ZNMNGD) has called on government to consider the integration of the re-entry policy into the teacher training curriculum as an entry point.
Organization National Coordinator, Nelson Banda, said this was in order to address teenage pregnancies and child marriage among school girls in the country.
Banda in a statement issued in Lusaka on Wednesday said one of the reasons being cited was the challenge where pregnant girls were stigmatized and bullied by teachers.
He said pregnant girls were also sigmatised and bullied by fellow pupils, thereby opting to abandon school after delivery and pushed into early marriages.
“We are sure that the integration of the re-entry policy in the teacher training curriculum will enable many teachers to apply its contents effectively and help ensure girls are encouraged to report back to schools after giving birth,” Banda said.
He said teachers would also teach their pupils on what was contained in the curriculum and work towards prevention of teenage pregnancies and help the learners apply the information in the event of a pregnancy.
Banda said the integration of the re-entry into the teacher training curriculum would also reduce resistance from schools that have been unwilling to support it’s implementation especially church supported or mission schools.
“We are of the view that when it is introduced into the teacher training curriculum, it will offer sustainable solutions to reducing teenage pregnancies, reduce child marriage and give girls a second opportunity to go back to school,” he said.
Banda said the re-entry policy was launched in 1997 to enable girls who got pregnant to take maternity leave and return to school after giving birth.
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