Mbabane: Somnjalose High School Principal, Macandza Mamba has felt the wrath of the Minister of Education, Lady Howard-Mabuza for turning back a pupil after she gave birth.
The minister told the Independent News that she called the principal and made known to him in no uncertain terms that the pupil in question should return to class immediately as per the directive given by the ministry that pregnant pupils should be allowed in schools, finish their syllabuses and sit for their exams.
Lady Howard-Mabuza said he was told by the principal that the pupil seemed not to have recovered after the birth of her child and hence for her safety was asked to remain at home. She stated that she smelt a rat and it seemed that there were those in the teaching profession who were indifferent to the ministry’s directive to allow even pregnant pupils in class and for that they would provoke the ire of government.
Howard-Mabuza stated that the mere fact that the pupil resorted to go back to class meant that she felt within herself that she was up and about and fit to return to class, and opposing statement is an excuse to prevent pregnant pupils from going to school, or at worst, defy government.
“We will show a serious attitude to principals who will present themselves as not adhering to what has been given by government as a directive, and we call upon everyone including the media to help expose such rebellious patterns of thinking,” said the minister.
The Somnjalose principal could not be immediately reached at the time of this compilation.
Take them to hospital for delivery
The minister said she suggested to the principal to help transport pupils to hospital in the event they go through labour pains and are ready to deliver, to which the principal pointed to his vehicle and said it had mechanical faults. “I suggested this all to nail it down that the issue of pregnant pupils returning to class is a serious one and well thought about by the concerned departments,” said the minister.