Gymslip moms ban probed

21 March 2010 - 02:00 By Victor Khupiso
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The Department of Basic Education is investigating a Free State school that has banned expectant teens or new teen mothers from school for up to a year

Repholositswe Secondary School in Phahameng, near Bulkfontein outside Welkom, introduced the ban last year after "more than 10 girls fell pregnant".

School principal Tieho Motatinyane declined to comment on the ban this week, but the Sunday Times has found that it was introduced with the backing of concerned parents.

Granville Whittle, a spokesman for the Department of Basic Education, said: "The school cannot discriminate against pupils on the basis of their pregnancy status or their motherhood status.

"Girls have a right to education, regardless of their situation, and it is not government policy to exclude girls who either are pregnant or have become mothers.''

Whittle said the department would investigate the situation at the school.

A parent and chairman of the school governing body, Lucy Mulaudi, said the policy dictated that pupils be sent home once it was established that they were pregnant.

She said these pupils were not suspended and could return to school a year after they had given birth.

This was to enable them to bond with their newborns, said Mulaudi.

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