Schools and higher education institutes in Thailand will be prohibited from expelling pregnant students from April 2019, according to local media reports.

The education ministry’s new regulation was published in the Royal Gazette on Friday and will be enforced 180 days later, reported the Bangkok Post on Monday (Oct 15).

The regulation – issued under the Act for Prevention and Solution of the AdolescentPregnancy Problem – governs primary schools, high schools, vocational institutions and the providers of higher education programmes.

It requires education institutes to come up with a system to care for pregnant students and ensure that they will be able to continue their studies.

The Bangkok Post report said institutes can grant pregnant students a school break before and after they deliver babies. Schools are also required to adjust classes for them in line with their capability.

According to another report by Khasod, pregnant students may be allowed to transfer to another school if it suits them.

Under the new directive, schools have also been tasked with providing sex education to prevent pregnancy among students. This includes topics related to relationships, sexual behavior and well-being, as well as the social and cultural aspects in relation to sex.

Prior to the passing of the new regulation, the Chiang Rai Times reported that schools would commonly expect pregnant students to drop out, with some being expelled.