At least 53 pupils who dropped out of school for various reasons in Machinga have been re-admitted to primary schools, thanks to the Catholic Relief Services, Mangochi diocese’s Education Commission funded project.
The initiative of bringing back pupils back to schools has been championed by the mother groups that were formed through the project at Kaombe, Mikachu, Napere, St John, Namandanje and Masanje primary schools in the area of Traditional Authority Liwonde in the district.
Narrating her story, Flossy Beston aged 15 and is one of the pupils who felt out of school at the age of 12 after she was impregnated by a form 2 boy said she is happy to be re-admitted to school after three years at home.
“It has always been my dream to become a qualified nurse when I finish up my studies. However, this dream was a threat at a certain point in time because I felt pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl,” she said
She added, “From the time I felt pregnant, things have not all been well for me. I have suffered big time in my life but thank God all my parents are alive and they have ably been supporting me financially, materially and many more just for the sake of parental care to my child.”
Her Deputy Head teacher, Chikumbutso Maganga said the Mother Groups that were formed by the Mangochi Diocese Education Commission have proved to be crucial in as far as promotion of education is concerned.
She said through Mother Group’s interventions, the school enrolment rate is fast growing as more pupils are enrolling, and a majority of them is those that dropped out of school some time back.
“For instance during the baseline survey of this project we only had 1325 pupils but since the project rolled out its activities some two years ago the enrolment rate has improved as we now have about 1643 pupils. The figure is likely going to go up because learners are still coming but all this is because of the initiatives by the Mother Groups, “she said.
Chairlady for Kaombe Mother Group, Alinafe Mitomoni said her ten member group is proud of the successes registered through their interventions and appealed to parents, teachers and all other stakeholder to be cooperative and assist them achieve their goal of promoting education in the area.
The Education Secretary for Education Commission in Mangochi Diocese, Cyprian Tambala said the project has managed to register a number of success stories within the two years they have been implementing the project in Machinga.
He said the project identified gaps and has so far strived to address then hence increased access to instructional and reading materials to children in the targeted schools, improved governance and management system of the schools and also improved the infrastructure.
“Just for example, the project has managed to train community key stakeholders in lobbying skills for funs mobilization, facilitate linkages between community key stakeholders like the Area Development Committees and the District Education Manager to access Local Development Fund funds at Council level, “he said.
Meanwhile, the District Education Manager for Machinga Enock Chumachao and the Education Policy Coordinator at the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, Steven Ndhlovu has commended Mangochi diocese through its education commission for the smooth implementation of the project.
Catholic Relief Services Programmes Manager for Education, Monica Chiwalo pledged continued support to the project in the next financial year which starts in November.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :