First Lady Madame Gertrude Mutharika has said inadequate and inappropriate infrastructure continues to be a stumbling block to girls’ attainment of quality education in the country.
Mutharika made the observation on Tuesday at Mulanje Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) during the laying of a foundation stone for the construction of girls’ hostel at the school in the district.
The First Lady said her charity organization, the Beautify Malawi (BEAM) Trust, realizes that girls continue to face a number of challenges in their pursuit to attain education, hence decided to alleviate such hindrances by constructing girls’ hostels, among other interventions.
“Through BEAM we noted that one of the major problems girls in the country are facing is lack of proper infrastructure needed to provide them with a friendly learning environment,” Madame Mutharika said.
She said lack of proper infrastructure in schools especially at secondary level has a negative impact on the country’s socio – economic development because as it leads to high drop – out rates, teenage pregnancies and early marriages.
“We realized that girls in the country especially in rural areas have to travel long distances to school and were often tired to study or meet many distractive and harmful things to their future.
“This is why as BEAM we have embarked on this project of constructing hostels, whenever we have resources, to ease the burden so that they should also realize their dreams in life,” she said.
Mutharika observed that out of desperation some girls engage in self – boarding and find shelter anywhere even at trading centers and considering that live in places unguarded end get enticed by older men to indulge in untoward behaviours.
She, therefore, encouraged girls to take full advantage of the facility once completed so that it was both meaningful and sustainable to become responsible and productive citizens in future.
The First Lady also appealed to parents and traditional leaders to encourage their girl – child to stay in school, saying the hostels alone would be useless if they such local leaders did not play their rightful roles.
Speaking at the same function, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development who is also Member of Parliament for Mulanje Central, Kondwani Nankhumwa commended BEAM for its role in complementing efforts of local councils in providing basic social amenities to people in rural area.
In her remarks, Traditional Authority Mabuka expressed gratitude towards the gesture by the First Lady and the BEAM Trust for considering her area with the girls’ hostel, saying it would contribute to high performance of girls at the school.
Chief Mabuka pledged to provide the BEAM Trust the necessary support to fulfill its responsibilities, which, she observed were meant to uplift people’s lives especially that of women and girls.
Meanwhile, BEAM has since constructed seven hostels since 2015 across the country with such districts like Chitipa and Mzimba being the on the list first beneficiaries.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :