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WC has lowest number of school pregnancies

Schools in the province have shown a drop in learner pregnancies, from 2818 in 2015 to 2140 in 2017.

Picture: Pixabay.com.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape has the lowest number of pregnancies in schools in the country.

Schools in the province have shown a drop in learner pregnancies, from 2818 in 2015 to 2140 in 2017.

Parliament's Basic Education committee heard on Tuesday there's also been a national decline in teenage fertility rates over the past five decades.

According to a Human Sciences Research Council study, 16% of South African women aged 15 to 19 have begun childbearing.

The South African Demographic and Health Survey of 2016 has revealed the highest rates of learner pregnancies are in the Northern Cape and North West, with 20%.

Western Cape Education's Jessica Shelver says more sexuality education must happen in schools and communities, even though the province has the lowest rate with 8%.

“It is imperative to engage all stakeholders when everyone understands their role at home, in the community and at school, it is possible to realise the desired change. In addition to community-based interventions, adolescent-friendly health services and access to contraception can contribute towards the reduction of teenage conception.”