The battle for the girl child education is like a third world war for Malawi that requires everyone to take part and bring out their best arsenals and tactics so that it should be won.
Education Secretary for Church of Central African Presbyterian (C.C.A.P) Blantyre Synod, Moses Kasitoli made the statement on Wednesday in a District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting in Nsanje when he presented the “Keeping Girls In School–Improving School Experience (KGIS-SE)” Project to the council.
Kasitoli said improving girls’ education is one of the key mandates of CCAP and having seen the current state of affairs- citing high rate of dropout amongst girls- the Church had to intervene.
“Girls lag behind in all the key education indicators. From standard 7, only one in every four completes Primary school in the country and only 45 percent enroll in secondary school.
“This high gender disparity characterized with many girls dropping out of school before they attain basic literacy and numeracy skills is resulting in increased levels of the cycle of poverty at family and community level,” Kasitoli noted.
He added; “It is for this reason the DFID funded KGIS-SE project is being implemented in 15 districts in the country. We aim to achieve gender parity by form 2 by 2016.”
To attain this Kasitoli said the project would focus on four objectives to improve school experience amongst girls, saying “It will increase community support by strengthening mother groups, empower females as role models, reduce violence against girls in the school and document and improve evidence based programming and advocacy related to girls’ education.”
Kasitoli believes once the project is implemented dropout rate amongst girls in the country will be reduced and there will be a positive shift in attitude towards girls’ education hoping that in the long run, the programme will bring women’s economic empowerment, social benefits in health, fertility and girls’ self-confidence.