High Achieving Eastern Cape School Wants to See Pregnancy and Drug Tests Before Learners Return to School

High Achieving Eastern Cape School Wants to See Pregnancy and Drug Tests Before Learners Return to School

  • A high school in the Eastern Cape is now requiring pupils to take pregnancy and drug tests before being allowed back at school
  • The school has assured the parents the tests are only a requirement to make sure learners are given the help they need
  • Some social media users have praised the school for the policy while others feel that it is a gross violation of the rights of schoolgirls

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NQADU - With schools in the coastal provinces scheduled to reopen in the next few weeks, a high school in Nqadu took to social media to remind pupils of the required tests needed before they will be allowed back at school.

In a Facebook post published on Monday, 3 January, Xolilizwe Senior Secondary School stated that pupils will need to submit drug and pregnancy test results as soon as the school reopens.

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Xolilizwe Senior Secondary School, Eastern Cape School, Pregnancy, Drug Test
Xolilizwe Senior Secondary School says pregnant school girls will not be discriminated against. Image: Getty Images/Stock photo
Source: Getty Images

The post:

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TimesLIVE reports that the Eastern Cape high school is well known for producing top-achieving pupils and uses Facebook to effectively communicate with parents and learners.

In reaction to the post, most of the comments indicated that the school's policy was well received by the majority, however, there were a few people who felt that pregnant pupils would be unfairly discriminated against because of their test results.

The headmaster of the school Sizo Butshingi stated that the school had no intention of discriminating against learners who were pregnant. Butshingi says students who are found to be pregnant will be treated in a dignified manner and will not be turned away.

“It is important that we know the status of the individuals so we can provide the care they need," said Butshingi.

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Butshingi added that in the previous year, three matric learners fall pregnant and the school allowed them to take maternity leave as a result. This allowed the learners to perform well academically, with two pupils receiving flying colours.

He says hiding pregnancies can lead to poor performance at school.

The reason the school insists on drug tests

In regard to drug testing, Butshingi says the schools high performance has attracted parents to the school and wants to maintain the standards of the institution. In the previous year, the school managed to produce 107 distinctions.

The school has provided parents with information on where affordable drug and pregnancy tests can be taken.

Parents react to Xolilizwe Senior Secondary School policy

In the Facebook post comment section, many parents praised the school for their policy and stated they were heading in the right direction. While others were not happy with the compulsory pregnancy test policy.

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Here are a few comments:

Mcolisie Mbombi said:

"Great idea ❤️❤️❤️keep up the good work."

LushLove Kim Sixubane said:

"Wow, this is a good thing to do every month . "

Alan Hookins said:

"Rules are rules. Learners need to learn to accept and obey the rules. It's a big problem."

Fiona Kemp said:

"Just read about this on the AlgoaFM News page and I'm disgusted that a pregnancy test is compulsory for the girls! What about the boys...you testing them as well??? These girls have a right to an education surely you as the school should be abiding by the government's rules. This is at the very least, gross mismanagement of a serious problem and violations of the girl's human rights!"

Ekua Owusu Mpotulo said:

"Drug tests are understandable. Pregnancy? What will be the consequences if they are positive? Expulsion? Every child has the Right to Education, remember that."

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DBE says schools are ready to kick start the 2022 academic year

Briefly News previously reported that with schools in inland provinces beginning the academic year on 12 January and coastal provinces kicking off the school year a week later on 19 January, the Department of Education says schools are ready to welcome pupils.

The department's spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga says the state of readiness report was complied and delivered last year and it is all systems go.

Speaking to SABC News, Mhlanga stated that the department wants to focus on curriculum coverage in 2022. He says he believes schools will be able to go through the entire syllabus, unlike last year when schools only reopened in February because of Covid19 cases.

Source: Briefly News

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