Panel: School is vital for teen moms

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Panel: School is vital for teen moms

A teenage single mother’s right to education should be backed up by strong guidelines that would guarantee those rights in order to break a vicious circle of poverty.

The National Human Rights Commission said yesterday that the right to education is a fundamental human right and recommended that related government ministries abide by a series of guidelines.

The guidelines recommended by the NHRC stipulate that diverse methods of education should be made available and that educators and government officials should work toward erasing the stigma of teenage single motherhood. To achieve these goals, new laws should be adopted, the NHRC said.

A survey conducted by NHRC in 2008 showed that 71.4 percent of 63 respondents dropped out of school while they were pregnant, and six respondents, who informed the school of their pregnancy, were advised to quit school or take a leave of absence. Meanwhile, 87.6 percent said they wanted to continue their studies.

The UN Convention on the Rights of a Child states that children and adolescents have a right to education, which is crucial in securing a good quality of life, and that equal opportunity should be provided for them to become respected members of society. Under any circumstances, the right to education should be guaranteed, and the obligation of securing this right falls on the shoulders of education authorities, the UN agency said.

The NHRC recommendations were sent yesterday to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and the Ministry of Health and Welfare as well as education superintendents.

By Kim Hye-mi []
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