The phenomenon of early pregnancies in schools is not new in Benin. But we can never say it enough, he always represents you major threat to girls’ education and for them country development. Because the statistics are alarming. Between In 2016 and 2020, more than 9,369 cases of pregnancy were recorded in public and private institutions by the Ministry of Secondary Education and Technical and Vocational Education. Atacora and Donga departments have the highest rates of girls getting pregnant each year, according to the same statistics.
For many years, successive governments and civil society have addressed the problem through various awareness, education and sanctions measures. Despite best efforts, the trend is not a significant decline. The causes of persistence of the phenomenon are known. The lack of sex education at home or at school, the misinterpretation of religious regulations, the community’s view of women, are all factors that explain this. Craftsmen and workers lead the ranking Persons responsible for these pregnancies. Then come the students and their teachers. The latest statistics are not yet available at the Department of Supervision level to make the alarming count, however This is not the time for joy.
The situation is all the more worrying as MPs had to question the government to find out a little more about the Tuesday 05 January 2021. During this public session, the competent minister Mahougnon Kakpo detailed the repressive, administrative and criminal measures taken against perpetrators of these early pregnancies. According to him, some perpetrators are already on trial. He also said the government is having trouble prosecuting the out-of-school perpetrators early pregnancies. But most importantly, he urged them to pass legislation to curb this phenomenon, which is hampering both girls’ education and the development of the nation as a whole. The phenomenon is therefore so complicated that its solution must be achieved through national ownership, collective impetus and collective commitment. Admittedly, a whole legal arsenal already exists, as mentioned above. Obviously, this isn’t enough to discourage the perpetrators of these early pregnancies.
For this reason it is necessary to think about itother additional measures especially those to protect the school education for girls after her pregnancy. Because not all pregnant women and young mothers have this always and everywhere Right to continue or resume their education. In addition to their fundamental obligation to ensure education without discrimination, governments should take steps to ensure that education does not stop with, during and after pregnancy. They must take measures so that after pregnancy the young mother is not forced to marry, as is the case in certain regions of the country due to religious and sociological constraints.
The other solution might be to introduce crash course programs so those who want can resume their education after the birth of her child. The state could too set up psychosocial and psychological services to which these young mothers can turn in order to go back to school with peace of mind. Because many of these young mothers are facing the Rejection by family and community. In the absence of mechanisms to support the schooling of pregnant girls or young mothers, not only is their access to education reduced, but these vulnerable girls are also exposed to greater poverty hardships. However, for all these measures to be effective, it is necessary permanent citizen monitoring, training and awareness-raising sessions. It is necessary to minimize this galloping phenomenon, if not to eradicate it completely.