Action-Aid says it is advocating for formation of bylaws in Mzimba District to make primary school education compulsory and force parents to ensure that their children attend and remain in school.
The non-governmental organization that champions early childhood development singles out lack of parental support as a major challenge causing pupils not to work hard in school.
Speaking Wednesday in an interview on the sidelines of a district executive committee (DEC) meeting, Action-aid programmes coordinator Wongani Mugaba said parents fail to provide basic material support such as writing materials and uniforms.
“As a result, some children do not work hard in class while others choose to drop out,” Mugaba said.
For example, Mugaba said, in the area of Traditional Authority Khosolo the increase in drop out is averaged at two per cent across the area.
“We still have pupil’s dropping out of school, which falls at 2.4 per cent for boys and 2.9 per cent for girls.
“To this, we have outlined a number of interventions such as advocating for compulsory primary school education to encourage parents taking an active role in ensuring that their children attend school.
“We are also in the process of finalizing formation of child protection bylaws to address issues of early marriages among girls and boys,” Mugaba said.
He said Action-aid promotes Early Childhood Development (ECD) as one way of reducing drop-out among learners.
According to the organizations findings, 95 per cent of pupils who pass through ECD centres remain in school as compared to those who do not go through the centres.
Mzimba district education network chairperson Teckson Amadu welcomed the idea of formulating the bylaws.
“Bylaws are easily enforced and obeyed because they originate from the communities themselves,” Amadu said.