An interesting article in the SMH yesterday talked about a young mother’s education program in Newcastle. This program helps young women who have dropped out of school because they fell pregnant to get back to school and actually complete their education. Some of these women will be completing their HSC this week, some even at the age of 22. The program helps the women to study by providing an onsite crèche service so that they can leave their babies and go and attend class. The structure of the curriculum is comfortable, flexible and informal so that the individual needs of the mothers can be met.
This is an excellent program and there really should be more programs like this. This program really allows women to have to best of both worlds – their child and their education. It was noted that these women will often be the first in their families to go on to complete tertiary education. Amanda McInnes, a teacher at the school, said that the girls are “often in a cycle of welfare dependency and poverty and lack of education. One of the goals of the program is to help them break out of that and education is the key.”
This just goes to show that there are real options for women who have an unplanned pregnancy in their teen years. The women shown in this article are happy and have incredible resilience in the eyes of their teachers. There is always another alternative to abortion and the four women in the article show that their pregnancy didn’t mean the end of their lives and education but it was really just the beginning. Women need to know that there are alternatives and even if it might be hard, it can be very rewarding just like these women have discovered.
You can find the full text of the article here.
Here’s a link to the website to find out more information about the young mothers’ education program.