First Lady Chakwera appeals for more support for girls’ education

First Lady Monica Chakwera has appealed for more support towards girl education in order to break the cycle of poverty in the country.

Speaking during a fundraising gala organised by Girl Education Trust (GET) in Lilongwe on Friday, Chakwera said a girl child faces unimaginable challenges that need urgent action.

“Even though girl’s education is on the global agenda, the inequalities in access, achievement, attainment and accomplishment remain overwhelming,” she said.

First Lady Chakwera addressing participants to the gala dinner in Lilongwe on Friday

She said girls are still leaving school too soon before acquiring the skills and knowledge that could positively impact their lives as well as the communities where they live.

Education has often been more available for boys than girls, she said.

However, she observed that even when it has been equally provided for both girls and boys, several barriers have prevented girls from participating effectively as boys which lead to poor learning achievements, repeaters and eventually dropping out.

Chakwera reiterated that the situation of girls education is an emergency, the one that requires immediate action.

According to her, research shows that girls from the poorest rural households are the least likely to complete primary schooling and transmission to secondary.

Just 15 out of 26 girls from these households complete secondary school.

Chakwera added that there is persistent gender gap favouring boys at secondary school as well as lower pass rate for girls than boys.

She therefore asked for continued support to change girls life thereby providing a whole new world to Malawi girls.

In her remarks, GET Executive Director, Dr Limbikani Kamlongera, said girls in secondary schools face considerable barriers in accessing education.

“Many lack the resources to stay in schools resulting in high rates of early marriages, teenage pregnancies and school dropouts,” Kamlongera said.

With these situations, she said, only 14 per cent of girls finish secondary schools.

Kamlongera called upon the corporate world, developing partners and well wishers to provide a helping hand through a small donation to keep girls in school.

“You can be part of the effort to provide education and help families rebuild their communities,” she said.

One of the beneficiaries of the Girls Education support from Chitipa district, Benardetta Kasima narrated her story that she was about to drop her secondary education due to lack of resources that includes school fees and uniform.

“My parents could not afford to pay fees for me because they are poor,” she said.

She said she had an opportunity of receiving a girls education support and finished her secondary education.

Kasima is now a first year student at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences.

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