President Jacob Zuma says the education sector needs to deal with teenage pregnancy and provide guidance to pupils.
The president was speaking at the 17th annual teaching awards in Midrand on Saturday.
Earlier this month, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga raised concerns about the rate of pregnancies in South Africa’s schools.
According to the 2015 annual school survey, over 15,000 pupils fell pregnant during the academic year.
Zuma has reminded teachers that they play a pivotal role in the country's development, adding that teachers should obtain inspiration from Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika that was originally composed to be a school anthem.
“It will inspire our teachers and learners to move SA forward in prosperity.”
The president has also raised concerns about serious cases of crime in schools.
He says teachers and government should work together to eliminate social ills in South African schools.
“We also have cases of bullying in some schools which have a negative impact on our children.”
The president has praised the Education Department for its successes in public schools, saying the department has proved excellence in schooling is a reality.
He also took the opportunity to condemn corporal punishment in school and described it as “unlawful”.
(Edited by Shimoney Regter)