A 17-year-old heavily pregnant pupil on Friday had to be rushed to hospital after she had endured "excruciating" labour pains to complete writing her matric exam.
Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona said the pupil from a secondary school in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni, started experiencing contractions while sitting for her Maths Literacy paper in the main exam room.
"After refusing to leave the exam centre for medical intervention, she was subsequently moved to a private office where she continued to write under excruciating labour pains.
"Fortunately, the paramedics promptly responded and waited for about 30 minutes for the said learner to complete her Maths Literacy paper.
"She was then taken to a local hospital, where she received the necessary medical attention and gave birth," Mabona said.
Mabona said administrative processes will be facilitated by the department to ensure that the pupil writes all her outstanding papers.
"From our perspective, young people should delay their first sexual experiences. It is not our wish that they give birth while still at school because the responsibility of parenthood impacts negatively on their ability to continue with their studies. Policy allows learners to stay at school while pregnant and return after giving birth," Mabona said.