Teenage pregnancy : young mothers in grade twelve : shh ... there are mothers amongst us.
My interest in teenage pregnancy began when I discovered pregnant girls in my class. Upon discussion with other educators in my school, I discovered that there were many pregnant girls in school. Thus began a journey in which I spent much time researching the topic. What I learnt along the way is that this is not a third world problem that affects certain race groups. It is a universal problem and if it is left to grow it will become the greatest social problem faced by the world. I believe that as educators we need to help curb the problem of teenage pregnancy. More importantly Secondary School educators need to become more aware of the debates surrounding teenage pregnancy for three reasons: (1) many of us may have pregnant or mothering teenagers in our classes and we need to understand where they are coming from and where they are heading towards, (2) we have the potential to help prevent teenage pregnancy by removing the cloak of ignorance that covers the issues surrounding sex and (3) teenage sexuality may be closely linked to the Aids pandemic that is moving like a veld fire across our country. We know that teenage pregnancy is not a new social problem. It has been around for centuries, but of late the severity of the problem has increased. It was this increase in teenage pregnancy that spurred me on to research why the youth of today, who have so much of sexual information made easily available to them, are still falling pregnant while at school. This study attempts to answer two critical questions. Firstly: "How do learners engage with factors that contribute to teenage pregnancy?" My study revealed that learners lack the knowledge or skills to avoid sex, they were ignorant of the different types of contraceptives, they were in denial that they could fall pregnant and they lacked the motivation to avoid early childbearing. Secondly, the critical question, "Why, in context of all the information present today on sex, do teenagers still fall pregnant?" Through the process of research it was found that teenagers engage in premarital sex because of the following reasons: peer pressure, they get caught up in the moment of passion and because they are bored and have nothing better to do. It is hoped that the analysis, findings and recommendations of this study will help curb the problem of teenage pregnancy.