Tanzania’s education minister announced on Wednesday that the prohibition on the return of female students who had to leave school due to pregnancy has been lifted, a move that has been criticised by human rights groups as discriminatory.
The ministry’s June declaration that secondary school dropouts, including those who became pregnant while in school, would be entitled to resume their studies in alternative colleges has been overruled by this new policy.
Minister Joyce Ndalichako of education, science and technology said that the government has decided that all children who drop out of school for various reasons would be given an opportunity to return to study.
“Women who were pregnant while in elementary and secondary school are eligible for this opportunity. They will be able to continue their education in the classroom after having a child.”
Tanzania’s ban on students returning to school after giving birth has been criticised by human rights organisations.
President John Magufuli, who died in March, was accused by rights groups of discriminating against female pupils by implementing a policy that dates back to 1961.
Some others were sceptical about the announcement made on Wednesday.
According to prominent Tanzanian girls’ rights campaigner Rebeca Gyumi, “Let us wait (for) the government notice on the problem,” she tweeted.