Teachers’ perceptions of the impact of teenage pregnancy on learners’ academic performance: a case of selected schools in South Africa
The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe the negative impact of teenage pregnancy on learners’ academic performance in one district of education in South Africa. Teenage pregnancy was argued in the literature as the main source contributor to learners’ low academic performance, especially in disadvantaged schools in South Africa. For example, teenage pregnant learners missed classes owing to absenteeism as they will be visiting clinics. Their performance rate fluctuates as this depends on their periodic mood swing, which they experience from time to time. In some cases, these teenage pregnant learners drop out of schools. The study followed a qualitative research approach where purposive sampling was employed to select two educators per institution from three selected schools. Pseudonyms were used to protect the participants from being known and encouraged them to participate freely. Trustworthiness and ethical considerations were adhered to. Open-ended questions were prepared and administered to the selected educators to find out the impact of teenage pregnancy on scholastic performance.
The study findings established that a sense of knowledge and respect of rights need to be promoted since these pregnant learners have the right to education and must receive the same education as other non-pregnant learners. The study, reported on this paper, further recommends that all stakeholders should discourage teenagers from watching television with sexual content that might tempt them to engage in sexual activities that can lead to teenage pregnancy, which will end up affecting their academic performance.
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