Tanzanian expelled pregnant school girls finally graduate

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzanian mothers who were thrown out of school for getting pregnant have graduated this weekend thanks to a retired teacher.

Teenage pregnancy in Tanzania became a topic of international debate after President John Magufuli said in 2017 that pregnant girls should be expelled from school.

But now 72-year-old retired teacher Martina Simon Siara is giving them a second chance with her school for mothers in Arusha, northern Tanzania.

The Faraja Centre provides courses such as catering and tailoring but crucially it has a crAche which allows students to concentrate on classes uninterrupted.

One of the students who graduated, 23-year-old mother of twins, Debra Emmanuel, was thrown out of her family home and expelled from school after she became pregnant at 17 years old.

I will start my own business and get some money to help my children and to take them to school, she said on her graduation day after finishing a catering course.

Magufuli was criticised heavily after, at a rally in 2017, warning school girls: After getting pregnant, you are done.

But actually he was emphasising a law that already exists. The law, passed back in 2002, allows for the expulsion of pregnant schoolgirls.

Source: NAM News Network