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Tanzanians chide president Magufuli over teenage mothers school ban

Tanzanians chide president Magufuli over teenage mothers school ban

Tanzania

Some Tanzanians on social media are not happy with their president and have taken to social media to express their views. They are not happy at a presidential declaration that teenage mothers cannot continue their education.

President John Magufuli on Thursday said girls who got pregnant should stay away from school even after giving birth. He said by getting pregnant they had chosen parenting over schooling and thus they should stay home and cater for their children.

Speaking at a public rally in Chalinze town, about 100km west of the capital, Dar es Salaam, the president added that men who impregnate the girls should also be given jail terms so that they can put their energies to good use while serving time.

After calculating some few mathematics she’d be asking the teacher in the classroom ‘let me go out and breastfeed my crying baby.

“After calculating some few mathematics she’d be asking the teacher in the classroom ‘let me go out and breastfeed my crying baby,” Magufuli said.

He also delivered a message to human rights groups that continue to accuse the government of denying teenage mothers education and thereby stripping them of a basic human right. “These NGOs should go out and open schools for parents. But they should not force the government [to take back the pupils].

“I’m giving out free education for students who have really decided to go and study, and now you want me to educate the parents?” he posed rhetorically.

‘‘After getting pregnant, you are done!” he is quoted to have said. But tweeters are using the hashtag #Arudisule to express their opposition to the president’s position. The word arudishule means ‘she should go back to school’ in local parlance.

A recent Human Rights Watch report revealed that Tanzania and Sierra Leone were the worst offenders in the area of denying teenage mothers education. It said that over 8,000 Tanzanian girls drop out of school every year due to pregnancy.

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