Oshikoto Region, Directorate of Education, Arts and Culture, last week held a community mobilisation workshop on Teenage Pregnancy and Sexual Health Education which was organised by Regional Aids Committee of Education (Race).
The workshop which was attended by parents, learners, life skills teachers, and school board members was facilitated by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture while experts from Ministry of Gender, Equality and Child Welfare, Ministry of Health and Social Services presented topics on awareness creation and making informed choices.
The main emphasis of the workshop was to educate and create awareness on the prevention and management of learner's pregnancy policy, parental and community involvement on prevention of learner/teenage pregnancy, gender-based violence/sexual molestation, comprehensive sexual education and contraceptives, Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC).
The Race, Senior Education Officer Valie Ashipala, gave an overview of the region regarding teenage pregnancy. He indicated that though Oshikoto is not rated high in terms of learner pregnancy the region, parents and community should strengthen their efforts to prevent learner pregnancy through information sharing.
"Parents should constantly engage with their children and building healthy communication with them. Open communication is needed for children to feel free and share their experiences and fears freely with the parents," Ashipala stressed.
Parents were told that it is essential for them to be involved in their children's education. They were also informed to attend parent meetings to know the challenges at school and also the progress of the children and the school in general.
The Regional Director of Education, Arts and Culture Aletta Eises urged the girls that they should be emotionally, spiritually, and physically ready before they can think of bringing babies into this world.
She stated that one should not be governed by emotions but think clearly and critically of the benefits of the decisions and actions they are taking.
During discussions, the parents said they acquired knowledge from the workshop "and that it is essential that all the parents should have been invited to be part of this informative discussions to learn how to engage their children on sensitive issues".