A good start. Five pregnant teens will enrol at the Sekolah Harapan in Jasin today. The Form Four and Form Five students are from Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur, Pahang and Johor.
The school, specially 'designed' to cater for teenagers who got pregnant out of wedlock, is also meant to reduce, if not halt, baby dumping case which is on the rise in the country (read here).
However, Chief Minister Ali Rustam, in announcing this yesterday did not say whether the students, of whom one is a Chinese, are already married to their 'boyfriends' as getting-married-first is a 'compulsary permit' for them to enrol.
The idea received pros and cons response when it was announced about two months ago. The Opposition and some NGOs lambasted it as not practical because it would encourage our teenagers to indulge themselves in free sex while some quarters supported it.
I was in Kelantan during Hari Raya. I was told that some 'madrasah' in the State were issued with 'sembahyang raya' sermons about the issue, which among others made fun of the Sekolah Harapan and Ali himself, that the school is built on 'sins'.
I dont know how many more young pregnant girls will seek 'protection' at the school but I am sure those involved will undergo special rehabilitation programme aided by Jabatan Agama Islam Melaka.
What is your comment, friends?