Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
Citing a gap in the current legislation, Opposition Senator Kamina Johnson
Smith today moved a motion in the Senate, calling for the Government to
amend section 31 of the Regulations to the Education Act to enable
schoolgirls who have become pregnant, to complete their formal education at
the secondary level.
Section 31 of the regulations to the Education Act compels the expulsion
from school of adolescent girls who become pregnant but does not mandate
their re-admission to the formal education system.
Johnson Smith noted that the Education Act provides for no consequence for
the male involved in the pregnancy, which is in itself discriminatory on
the basis of gender and accordingly contravenes the principles of
non-discrimination set out in Section 13 of the Constitution of Jamaica.
In giving notice of the motion in the Senate today, Johnson Smith said it
is indisputable that education is most often necessary for personal
economic mobility and an educated population is fundamental to the nationís
She said empirical data shows that without intervention, girls who get
pregnant are less likely to fulfill their academic and economic potential
and that of their children and this endures to their individual detriment
as well as to the overall detriment of national development.