Target: Minister of Education, Science and Technology of Sierra Leone Dr. Minkailu Bah
Goal: Don’t ban pregnant students from attending school and taking national exams.
In three weeks, teenagers living in Sierra Leone must take a national exam to attend secondary school or any higher education institution. However, pregnant students are not allowed to sit for the exam nor are they allowed to attend school. The announcement game just as Sierra Leone is reopening their schools that have been closed due to the Ebola epidemic that killed nearly 4,000 people in the country.
To ban a girl from receiving an education simply because she is pregnant is a violation of human rights. Anyone who wants to sit for an exam or attend school should be able to. This policy also prioritizes the education of boys over the education of young women, as these boys will never have to worry about getting pregnant. A girl who is unable to move on to attend a secondary school will likely end up in poverty, meaning that her child will be born into this poverty. Sign this petition to show your support for the retraction of a policy that does not allow young pregnant women to receive the education that they need to succeed.
Dear Minister of Education, Science and Technology of Sierra Leone Dr. Minkailu Bah,
I am writing this petition letter to you to ask that the ban on pregnant girls and young women attending school and taking exams be lifted. Everyone who desires an education should be able to receive one and taking away one’s ability to receive and education is a violation of human rights. Moreover, experts say that most underage pregnancies in Sierra Leone are due to rape or sexual coercion. Therefore, you are punishing young girls for circumstances that are beyond their control as young girls rarely become pregnant by choice.
Pregnant girls and young women should not be isolated from their peers. Furthermore, by preventing them from receiving an education you are setting them and their children up for a life of poverty and struggle. Girls want to be in school to have a better life. Please do not limit their opportunities by discriminating against them. They deserve to be in school as much as anyone else.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: A World At School