What does it mean to finish high school? The end result of finishing high school is usually an array of qualifications known as school exit exams. These are various nationally recognized qualifications that give a score to student attainment in certain compulsory subjects like English and Maths, to optional sciences and arts.
Normally school leaving exams are sat at the end of high school – 16 years or 18 years of age – although it is possible to take these qualifications as adults in evening classes or adult education forums. Many students who did not experience a pregnancy do have to “re-sit” or take up a subject in evening class in order to progress their chosen future.
For the teenager who became pregnant before “finishing school” it is especially important that they complete these qualifications. They can do so through a variety of means – going back to real high school as a child dropping back a year, attending an evening class as an adult, or a bit of both. Finishing school is getting those qualifications and doing as well as possible.
Why is it especially important for those who experience a pregnancy before leaving school to “finish school”?
1) These qualifications are the key to future life – employment, further study, training, etc. and adulthood. They are required for just about every positive transition that the teenager may make into adult life.They are a Western “coming of age” rite that teenagers need to demonstrate before they are taken seriously in the adult world.
2) Qualifications provide better options for employment. The best qualifications lead to the best paid jobs. Teenagers need income – especially those caring for a new child.
3) Qualifications boost self-esteem. Teenagers who become pregnant often lack self-esteem and achieving qualifications can be a great boost to personal esteem. The teenager who achieves positive outcomes – despite having a pregnancy to deal with – can regain a sense of pride and self-worth that may be lacking.
4) As a legal child the teenager is entitled to education. Finishing school as a child may be possible for some teenagers who experience pregnancy. This has great financial advantages since while legally a child education is an entitlement and not something that has to be financed by self in an evening class.
5) “Finishing school” helps the teenager’s self-development. Finishing school gives the teenager the chance to enjoy some personal development and finish off their own childhood. Finishing school and realizing personal goals will help them be a better parent for their child without the psychological strain than would be experienced if the child got in the way of their own maturation.