Girls forced to drop-out of school for marriages

Chikwawa district on Wednesday joined all African countries in commemorating the day of the African Child under the theme ‘A Child friendly quality free and Compulsory Education for all Children in Africa.’

The commemoration, which was led by  Chikwawa District Education Manager, Thomas Mbwembwe  took place at Nkuzi Primary School.

One of the girls with a placard carrying an important message....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

One of the girls with a placard carrying an important message….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Chikwawa district youth officer Baldwin Mkumbadzala on the podium....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Chikwawa district youth officer Baldwin Mkumbadzala on the podium….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Girls from Nkuzi Primary School during the commemoration...Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Girls from Nkuzi Primary School during the commemoration…Photo Jeromy Kadewere

In his speech, Mbwembwe said the district was focusing on prevention of early marriages, which is rampang on children in the district.

He said due to high  poverty level in households, many parents are forcing girls to drop out of school inorder to get married.

“Time has come for parents in Chikwawa to stop oppressing children, especially girls and give out the whole support to them to continue school,” he said.

He also asked parents in the district and all stakeholders to joins hands in eliminating cultural practices that also hinder girls rights to education.

Mbwembwe said results of ignoring children of their rights leads to bad behaviours such as contracting sexually transmitted infections, illiteracy and maternal deaths.

Senior Group Joseph, from the area where the commemoration took place said he will make sure that those who will be found guilty of violating rights of children, especially denying them a chance to go to school are brought to book and appropriate action to be taken.

Chikwawa district Youth Officer, Baldwin Mkumbadzala encouraged all stakeholders in the district to remember the importance of education.

“We are encouraging parents to send their children to school because what we have observed in the district is that many children are denied a chance to complete or go to school,” said Mkumbadzala.

The event which was organized by Chikwawa District Council was sponsored by United Nations Childrens Fund under the joint programme for Adolescent Girls Project.

Day of African Child is commemorated on 16 June but Chikwawa district celebrated it on June 25 due to other commitments.

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