Allow Pregnant Girls to Attend School

On 14 April, girls smile in a classroom at St. Josephís Secondary School in Freetown, the capital. Strict safety protocols being implemented at the UNICEF-supported secondary school, and in all schools across the country, to minimize the risk of Ebola virus disease (EVD) transmission at school.

In March/April 2015 in Sierra Leone, as schools across the country prepare to reopen after an eight month closure due to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) crisis, the Government, UNICEF and partners are working to ensure that children remain safe by reducing as much as possible the risk EVD transmission. Schools ñ which had remained closed across the country after the July-August break ñ are scheduled to reopen on 14 April, with some 1.8 million students expected to resume their studies. To support studentsí return, UNICEF has facilitated the training of 9,000 teachers to implement safety protocols to minimize the risk of transmission at schools, including taking childrenís temperatures when they arrive at school and making them wash their hands before entering the classroom. UNICEF is also supporting the distribution of hygiene materials and cleaning equipment to prepare school buildings and to reduce the chance of infections; and is providing 24,300 hand-washing stations (about three per school), as well as 1.8 million school kits and psychosocial support for students. UNICEF is also supporting social mobilization activities to raise awareness, and daily government emergency radio education programmes to allow children to continue learning at home during the Ebola crisis, and has distributed some 17,000 solar radios to children in rural communities.

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.

PETITION LETTER:

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.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: A World At School

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. You can edit your auto-fill information here. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare

One Comment

  1. How about addressing the reasons why teenage girls are getting pregnant in the first place. The males responsible should also face consequences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Facebook Comments

comments

2273 Signatures

  • ORPHA DESS WILSON
  • Muhammad Kamal
  • Evija DZ
  • Yaedi Ignatow
  • sheila childs
  • Gertie Hunt
  • katia scaglia
  • Holly Hall
  • Katie Richards
  • Terrie Phenicie
1 of 227123...227
Skip to toolbar