With three teenage pregnancies for every 50 pregnant women in the country, Save the Children Philippines has called on parents to take an active role in educating adolescent children on reproductive health.
Save the Children Philippines chief executive officer Albert Muyot said the country has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in Southeast Asia, and the problem has not changed in the last 10 years.
“These girls face health problems and are at risk of falling into a cycle of poverty,” Muyot said.
Earlier this year, Save the Children Philippines launched the program: Heart to HEART (Healthy, Empowered, Responsible Teen) as a new and innovative approach to foster dialog between parents and their adolescent children.
The six-month curriculum uses activity-based methodologies to engage small groups of parents with very young adolescents or those 10 to14 years old in reflection and learning on gender norms, puberty, pregnancy prevention, and sexually-transmitted infections.
Muyot said the Department of Education should also widen access of teenage mothers to Alternative Delivery Modes to prevent them from dropping out of school.
ADMs allow learners, including pregnant teenagers, to continue their studies at home. It was originally designed to address problems of seasonal absentee learners and congested classrooms in schools.
“Education is a right of every individual. To allow a pregnant teenager to drop out of school violates that right,” he said.