Shocked with the growing number of children dropping out of school,Traditional leaders in Mangochi have joined the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) in an initiative aimed at getting the children back to school.
Speaking during the launch of the campaign on Thursday, Chairperson for the campaign Traditional Authority Chowe said the campaign, expected to last for a week, targets 9, 000 children.
He described the ever increasing number of school drop-outs in the district was worrisome.
“Here in Mangochi there is high increase in number of children who drop out of school. For example, in 2012/2013 academic alone about 14,500 children dropped out of school,” Chowe said.
Chowe who is also chairperson for CAMFED’s district community development committee added that the campaign also targets girls who dropped out of school due to pregnancies and early marriages.
His counterpart, Traditional Authority Nankumba observed that standards of education in the district continued dwindling, a scary phenomenon he said has forced authorities to join hands and bring back to school as many children as possible.
“We’ve taken it upon ourselves with the campaign because of the importance of education to the country. Education can unlock a lot of national development, economic activities and what have you,” Nankumba said.
He added: “There is no reason for children to fail to go to school now unlike in the past when there was no free primary education or school feeding programme, let alone corporal punishment which forced most learners out of school.”
TA Nankumba then disclosed that chiefs have set up a number of by – laws to ensure high enrolment and retention rates at all levels of education in the district.
On his part, District Education Manager for Mangochi, Sam Kalanda ordered head teachers to extend the registration period so that more learners enroll in school.
“Lack of school fees should not be a deterrent to girls to proceed with their secondary school education. There are several organizations willing to assist them to continue with their education,” Kalanda said.
The campaign is among others characterized by traditional dances and road shows. It is targeting the district’s hotspots of Lulanga, Mpilipili in the area of Chief Makanjira, Ntuwa, Masanje in Chief Chowe, Makawa and Mpondasi in Chief Mponda respectively.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :