Initiation ceremonies fuel school dropout rate in Machinga

Initiation ceremonies are still contributing to high dropout rate of girls in schools in Machinga despite efforts to curb the vice.

Girls at initiation ceremony

Associate Professor of Research Centre for Social Research, Alister Munthali said this on Monday in Liwonde during Yes I Do (YID) Project midterm review workshop.

Munthali said girls and boys are taught and encouraged to experiment with sex during initiation ceremonies which leads them into child marriages and teenage pregnancies.

“They are told that their private parts will wilt if they don’t do sex after graduating from initiation camps,” he said.

He further explained that some boys and girls once they have graduated from initiation camps are involved in sex because they want to test whether they are fertile or not.

He said they learn during initiation camps how to treat their husbands among others.

Munthali however, said Initiation ceremonies are no longer in conflict with the school calendar saying the project enlightened communities to conduct them when children are on holiday.

He said community values initiation ceremonies because it is part of their culture where initiates are taught how to respect their parents and do household chores.

Coordinator for Yes I Do Project in Machinga, Joseph Maere said the project is aimed at creating a conducive environment for adolescent girls and boys to enjoy their sexual and reproductive health rights and achieve their full potential.

“We want boys and girls to be free from child marriages and teenage pregnancies. We want to withdraw 5000 adolescent girls from child marriagies and teenage pregnancy,” he said.

He said the project which is running from 2016 to 2020 is being implemented in the area of Traditional Authorities Liwonde in Machinga and Njewa in Lilongwe.

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3 years ago

In its wisdom the government feels quota system is the answer!

Jigidi Jaba
Jigidi Jaba
3 years ago

Researcher must bring us new information about Districts like Mangochi and Machinga. These districts have been over researched on these issues and the results have always been the same. Could it be that there are other factors that fuel school drop out in these districts other than initiation ceremonies, which the researcher fail to identify. It is also surprising that these districts are always painted as the only districts in the country where initiation ceremonies that teach girls about the need for experimenting sex. Little mention is made of districts in the northern part of the country where similar issues… Read more »

3 years ago
Reply to  Jigidi Jaba

Most studies blaming initiation ceremonies in Mangochi and Machinga are NOT done by THE northerners. Do a literature search. Then stop behaving like an ethnocentric soul as you appear to be well read in some respects.

Bingu wa Mutharika
Bingu wa Mutharika
3 years ago
Reply to  Education

I totally agree with you JIGIDI JABA on your analysis..Research can not be successful if it is compromised by prejudice which is unfortunately influenced by tribalism. It is true that most researched conducted in these districts are conducted by my fellows from the north and are likely going to be biased because initiations are never present in the north therefore not making sense to the researcher at first place. Next time conduct this very same survey in Chiefs Malemia and Mulumbe in Zomba and compare the results.There are Yao dominated areas with intensive JANDO, CHIPUTU or you name it but… Read more »

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