Tanzanian District Commissioner Sebastian Waryuba has ordered the police to arrest 55 secondary school girls who became pregnant in the past two years.
Speaking during a district consultative committee meeting in Tandahimba on Monday, Mr Waryuba said the school children, together with their parents should be detained pending investigations. His directive is part of efforts to end pregnancies among students in the district.
“This should also include those who left school two years ago. It doesn’t matter whether they are already out of school or not. I want this to serve as a lesson to the rest,” said the DC.
He demanded that a report be presented to him over the matter by district’s secondary school education officer Sostenes Luhende.
“I want all the information about these girls, including their names, schools and those of their parents. I also want to know what steps have been taken against them so far,” charged Mr Waryuba.
He added: “Their report should be presented to me and a copy of it should be submitted to police for further investigations. That’s why today I have ordered that those students who are implicated and their parents to be arrested.”
He said it was intolerable that 55 school girls should be expelled from school because of pregnancy.
Mr Waryuba added that such cases were unacceptable, urging the public to support efforts aimed at curbing pregnancies among school children in the district. For his part, Mr Luhende said latest reports indicated there were still many cases of students falling pregnant in the district but no case has been taken to court so far.
“Investigations about such cases take long. The police keep us updated from time to time. The complication comes from poor cooperation from those involved. And, it is difficult to get hold of those who made the students pregnant,” he said during the meeting.
He noted that pregnancy in schools is a huge problem and therefore district authorities have been trying to address it through public sensitisation campaigns and providing life skill education to students.
Mr Luhende also noted that there were contributing factors including poor parenting skills among guardians, broken families, poverty and letting teenagers grow on their own without proper care.