Celestina Soares – The General Director of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Antoninho Pires said the Ministry has a mechanism to facilitate female students who fall pregnant during their studies to return to school after giving birth because they every right to complete their studies.
"Students who are of school age who fall pregnant still have the right to return to school to finish their studies," he said in Dili.
He added the Ministry has been already facilitated six (6) female students return to school after giving birth to their babies.
"The Ministry has a policy that applies to female students returning to school after childbirth and to support the student get back to studies, but this depends on the student, and if she wants to. The ministry will support her but it cannot force her," he said.
Meanwhile, the National Secretary of the Timor-Leste Educational Network Coalition for Education (TLCE), Jose Monteiro said the policy of the Ministry of Education is to support female students by facilitating them to continue their studies after childbirth.
He said this is a good policy as there should not be discrimination against someone wanting to have access to education. He added TLCE supports this policy.
"We think the implementation is going well so far if the Ministry has been able to facilitate six girls to return to continue their studies after giving birth," he said.