BANGKOK – A new ministerial directive was announced Friday banning the expulsion of pregnant students and allowing them pregnancy leave.
The directive, announced Friday on the Royal Gazette – covers all schools, colleges and universities in the kingdom.
The new education ministry directive requires that all educational institutions provide support for pregnant students by offering them flexible education programs and counseling.
Pregnant students may also be allowed to transfer to another institution if it suits them.
Until the new regulation passed Friday, schools would commonly expect pregnant students to drop out, with some even being expelled.
The new directive also includes providing sex education to prevent pregnancy among students.
Dr. Kittipong Saejeng, Director of the Bureau of Reproductive Health, Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health, said that the fast changing economic, social and technological situation has a significant effect on unplanned pregnancy in Thailand.
This is especially so with child and teenage pregnancy seeing an increase in 2016 when 94,584 girls between the ages of 10-19 gave birth. That is an average of 252 girls a day. Furthermore, there were 11,225 repeat births in this group of youth or 11.9%, while 2,746 young girls between the ages of 10-14 had given birth this past year – an average of 8 a day.
www.your-life.com also carried out a survey of 3,013 young people between 13-25 years old in 15 countries on their attitude towards birth control. Most responded to questionnaires saying they knew the importance of birth control, yet 64.5% of them have had sex without protection. And 90.3% wanted the issue of birth control to be spoken about publicly in a matter-of-fact fashion and not treated as a forbidden subject for discussion as at present.