Thousands expelled in Tanzania schools pregnancy crisis
From ALLOYCE KIMBUNGA in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
DAR-ES-SALAAM, (CAJ News) – SOME 8 000 girls are dropping out of school in Tanzania every year owing to rampant pregnancy.
This is blamed on exposure to widespread sexual harassment at schools while in some cases, teachers lure girls into relationships with the false promise of marriage.
Officials rarely report sexual abuse to police and many schools lack confidential reporting mechanisms.
To add to the minors’ woes, school officials conduct regular compulsory pregnancy tests, denounced by rights groups as abusive and discriminatory.
Schools routinely expel students who are pregnant on grounds of “offenses against morality.”
In most cases, girls are not allowed to re-enroll after giving birth.
These are some of the findings by Human Rights Watch (HRW), which on Tuesday probed the factors prohibiting youth from attaining education in the East African country
It is reported 1,5 million Tanzanian adolescents(40%) are out of secondary school despite the government of President John Magufuli making lower-secondary education free.
Widespread corporal punishment that often takes brutal and humiliating forms also affects school attendance. Teachers routinely use corporal punishment, including beatings with their hands, bamboo or wooden sticks, among other objects.
Corporal punishment is still lawful in Tanzania, in violation of its international obligations.
Quality secondary education remains inaccessible for most adolescents with disabilities while other children walk 25 kilometres to school.
Elin Martínez, HRW children’s rights researcher, said government needs to open the way for secondary education by ending discriminatory and abusive policies.
“It must remove barriers between many students and a quality education.”
– CAJ News
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