Thursday, June 8, 2006 – Saint Lucia's education policy concerning
teenage mothers has attracted the praise of the United Nations Convention on the
elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
Saint Lucia as party to the Convention has been identified as moving in the
right direction. Director of Gender Relations Lera Pascal said the Education Act
facilitates the continued educational development of female students who become
“One of the things we were questioned about was the position of Saint Lucia on
teenage pregnancy and teen motherhood at school. We were happy to tell them that
in Saint Lucia there is no policy that prevents a teen mother from attending
school. There is no such policy. As a matter of fact the Education Act makes it
illegal for any child under the age of fifteen to be out of school.”
However in light of the extenuating factors that can mitigate against a teen
mother's continuation of school, Ms. Pascal said the state has implemented
successful mechanisms to provide support systems for young mothers to continue
to develop educationally. One such example is the National Skills Development
Centre – NSDC.
“Apart from doing their studies in whatever fields, there is a child care
component so the children can be put into the nursery and they can learn about
child care and at the same time and they do their studies . I think this is an
Ms. Pascal says to deprive a young mother of her education would be to
perpetuate a vicious cycle of poverty in most cases.