Sun | Apr 19, 2015

Senator wants expelling pregnant school girls removed from the books

Published:Friday | February 22, 2013

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 nation’s

development.



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.



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