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Now, school for pregnant teens

In a bold initiative, an exclusive school for pregnant teenagers will be opened this month in Malaysia to help girls overcome the stigma of having children without being married.

india Updated: Sep 03, 2010 18:17 IST

A school exclusively for pregnant teenagers will be opened this month in Malaysia's Malacca state, an official said.

The purpose of opening the school is to help the girls overcome the stigma of having children without being married, the official said Wednesday.

The school, which starts Sep 16, will accept about 30 students, school chairman Abdul Rahman Abdul Karim was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper.

The Islamic affairs department in Malacca will run the school and offer classes in math, science, English and other subjects as well as religious counselling for the girls, Abdul Rahman said.

The teenagers can also stay in a hostel next to the school.

Abdul Rahman said: "We want to give them a second chance to rebuild their future. After they deliver their babies, the girls can go back to their ordinary schools."

The plan comes after Malaysian officials have voiced increasing concerns about teenagers who become pregnant and drop out of school.

Some young mothers have abandoned their babies in garbage dumps, bushes or public toilets.

Sex out of wedlock remains a taboo for many Muslims in Malaysia, where more than 50 babies have been found abandoned so far this year. Most of them were found dead.

Officials in Malacca have recorded at least 170 babies born out of wedlock this year. More than 70 were delivered by teenaged girls.

Malacca's chief minister recently encouraged Muslim teenagers to get married if they cannot resist having sex and promised to allocate state funds to help them start a family.