All posts by aseld

Teenage Pregnancy and Access to Education

Argentina is a country with one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy. One of the reasons for that is the federal abortion ban. According to official statistics, every five minutes a woman under 18 years old give a birth and most of them come from impoverished families (Reina & Castelo-Branco, 2014). In reality, 20% of teen parents do not even finish secondary school. Loss of educational opportunity leads to the limited choice of employment, and thereby, to lower salary. In addition, it is an additional expenditure to the government since the government introduced several social programs in order to provide economic support for young parents.

In 2006, the UNICEF Argentina in cooperation with local governments introduced a law, which entitles youth to a social right for education. In this regard, the government bodies established the project “Maternal Rooms in Secondary School”. The main goal of the project is to enable 300 young males and females under 18 an opportunity to continue their education processes while they are raising their children. A 17-year-old father of twin girls says: “I want to have a good job, take care of my girls, and have the best for them. But I will only be able to do that if I finish my studies”.

Several schools across the country were chosen for this project, which include 30 nursery rooms with all necessary equipment such as baby cots, tables, playground with toys and books for different ages. Everyone has a possibility to bring their children or little brothers and sisters to this improvised kindergarten where professional nurses look after children during the classes.

In addition, in 2009, the Ministry of Education of Argentina introduced new compulsory subject Comprehensive Sexual Education in all secondary schools in order to help students become familiar with the sexual maturation; develop respect for intimacy; appreciate concepts such as love, responsibility, and respect for life; recognize of sexual abuse; and learn about healthcare, methods of contraception and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

References

Assef, J. (2011, August 15). UNICEF aims to ensure the right to education for young parents in Argentina. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/education/argentina_59521.html

Reina, M. F., & Castelo-Branco, C. (2014). Teenage pregnancy in Argentina: a reality. In International Handbook of Adolescent Pregnancy (pp. 171-189). New York, NY: Springer.

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