Teenage Pregnancy Essay Competition [SRH Programme]

Teenage Pregnancy Essay Competition [SRH Programme]
17th August 2017

written by Leah Kenny

In July 2017, WIL Uganda held an essay competition on “Teenage Pregnancy: Problems and Prevention” in three partner secondary schools. WIL Uganda’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) programme runs after school hours across different schools in Busembatia. The programme covers topics ranging from menstrual hygiene to protecting yourself from sexually transmitted diseases. In rural Uganda, teenage pregnancy, and subsequently school drop-outs, are very common. Students who attended the SRH classes were encouraged to participate in the competition. The invitation was also extended to all students in the schools. We received many essays from students in their first, second and third year of secondary school. The essays showed the students had understood the consequences of teenage pregnancy and how it can be prevented in their communities. Essay competitions like these, are an important way to get students to think critically about sexual and reproductive health issues.

The essays were judged on their style, but more importantly on their content. The prizes for 3rd, 2nd and 1st place were given out in each school at the end of term. The winning essays were ones that stated a number of social, economic and health consequences of teenage pregnancy. In addition they recognised the importance of: sex education, the importance of finishing school and raising awareness of specific challenges in the community, such as sugar daddies, as prevention methods. Excerpts from the winning essays can be found below:*

 

“Teenage pregnancy can be prevented by advising teenagers to use condoms, for example, women and old women who have daughters who are teenagers can advise their daughters that if abstinence is hard for them, let them use condoms when playing sex with their boy lovers to prevent STIs and teenage pregnancy.

 Teenage pregnancy can be prevented by teaching them about sexually transmitted diseases, for example, you can tell them that AIDS is dangerous than other diseases because AIDS kills in a bad way, you can die with a lot of pain so you can abstain or use condoms to avoid STDs and teenage pregnancy.

 Teenage pregnancy can be prevented by telling the teenagers about the outcomes of teenage pregnancy, for example, by telling them about the dangers of teenage pregnancy like death, miscarriage and producing a baby but when you don’t know how to care about it. You can tell them many outcomes of that pregnancy to reduce and prevent teenage pregnancy in our communities.

 Teenage pregnancy can be prevented by advising teenagers to study hard because good things in the future are many if you study. They can advise us to learn because the money our parents are paying is much, so we need to learn hard and also parents enjoy the money us students are working for after our studies.”

Kyazike Joanitah is a senior one student at Standard Secondary School, Busembatia and an active participant in WIL Uganda’s SRH programme.

Joanitah receives her certificate for the best essay at Standard Secondary School, Busembatia.

 

“Many teenage girls in Uganda have attained pregnancy through engaging themselves in sex not knowing that this results in different problems and these problems are: it leads to unwanted pregnancies, it leads to school dropout if one was a student, it leads to abortion, it leads to family neglect, it leads to death if one fails to give birth. 

 Teenage pregnancy leads to school drop out in a way that if one was a student. This comes in a way that if a girl gets pregnant when she is at school, she will be ashamed to tell anyone and hence she will run out of school either to abort the pregnancy or to keep it until birth. It also leads to abortion, that if a school going girl gets pregnant and if her parents want to return her to school, her parents can decide to abort the pregnancy. It also leads to family neglect, because if a girl gets pregnant the father will chase her away, hence leading to neglect. It also leads to death, if a girl fails to give birth after nine months.”

 Waswa Shafik is in his first year of secondary school at Townside

 

“Me as a student of Busembatia secondary school, I advise my fellow students to avoid the following:

a) Early sex

b) Bad peer groups

c) Bad touches

I also advise them to learn how to say ‘no’ to free gifts from strangers like free lifts, money, chapatti, sweets among others. For any case of disturbance, I advise my friends to report to the nearest elders. I advise them to concentrate on school work and class activities until the time for going back home. Avoid moving at night to avoid being raped by strangers, defiled among others. I also tell them to know how to set their own rules and regulations. I also advise them to have feeling to education and know the benefits of education.”

 Hilda Caroline is in her second year at Busembatia Secondary School.

 

 

*the original language used by the students has been maintained wherever possible. 

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