Youth Affairs monitors teen pregnancy

POSTED: 01/29/13 12:46 PM

St. Maarten -The concerns that National Alliance Parliamentarian George Pantophlet raised about an increase in teenage pregnancy were addressed by Youth Affairs Minister Silveria Jacobs last week.

Jacobs said that the Department of Youth Affairs will be conducting a “youth monitor” to explore the possibility of collecting data on this and other social issues. She added that other initiatives would have to be collaboration between the Ministry of Public, Social Development and Labour (VSA) to create a registry of the single and teenaged mothers, the amount of children that they have, their social status and health issues.

Thus far, there has been no formal proposal put to the Social Development Minister, Jacobs explained, adding that collaboration ought to happen.
“The issue as well as the social status and health are a priority of the Ministry of Health, Social Development. They (VSA) have also prepared many reports and data pertaining to the issues which have been published and disseminated to the public.”

From an education standpoint, Minister Jacobs has had informal discussions with the Minister of Labour, Dr. Cornelius de Weever regarding parents getting the time off from their jobs to attend certain school related activities such as parental classes.

She believes that more public awareness to educate employees and their employers “so that persons who are working will be aware of their rights in terms of how many times they are allowed to visit schools without being penalized.”

There must be an acknowledgement of the labour laws and willingness from businesses to ensure that this happens, the minister opined.

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