Nsanje district continues to perform poorly in the education sector as about 3,000 primary school students have dropped out of school this academic year alone despite interventions by government and Non Governmental Organization to promote education in the district.
According the district’s Education service committee report, the main contributing factors are general poverty, early or prearranged marriages and high HIV and AIDS prevalence rate in the district that is forcing children especially the girl child to attend to their sick parents.
Mal-cultural practices, inadequate classrooms and qualified teachers, orphan hood and lack of role models are also said to play a part.
In the report, it was also noted that some parents fail to pay for their children once they pass primary school living certificate (PSLC) either due to poverty or lack of foresight –failing to save money to pay for their children in secondary school as they believe the government will pay fees for them.
The committee has since requested the council to approve a school bursary proposal so the needy students’ access education support saying it will help to reduce school dropouts among the needy in the district.
The committee has also proposed that the council should make a deliberate effort, enforcing by-laws that will encourage the smooth delivery of education system in the district.
According to the committee, among other things guardians whose kids will be staying at home during school hours should be penalized, a move they believe will boost the enrollment rate.
The committee also suggested the creation of Village polytechnics to help the young acquire skills and prepare them for work or self employment if poverty is to be addressed in the district. –Mana