‘Early childbearing continues to be a matter of concern around the world, especially in developing nations. Life goals and the future of young people is threatened by early parenting. The negative outcomes of early parenting impact young parents’ ability to further their studies,’ explained Ngcobo. ‘Excluding fathers defeats the purpose as they are an integral part of early childbearing.’
The study found that a lack of proper sex education in homes and schools is a significant cause of early childbearing.
‘Although lack of access to contraception was an issue, I found that NSFAS funding was also used to support young parents and their children. This means that NSFAS played a vital role in supporting young parents to further their studies despite the problems they experience,’ said Ngcobo.
He chose this topic as he sees himself as a social worker at heart and aims to address the problems he has witnessed in communities that require interventions from different perspectives. ‘I believe that with further research, functional interventions can be devised to curb unwanted early childbearing.’ Ngcobo added that youth friendly and youth driven awareness and education could assist in this regard.
He thanked his support system of family, friends and supervisor Professor Pranitha Maharaj and advises other students to, ‘Choose a research topic that you love, do something that makes you smile whenever you pick it up. Remember you may be up and working around the clock and no one wants to be sad 24/7.’
Ngcobo plans to become part of the academic fraternity in the future and is pursuing his PhD.