Local leaders warned on pupil dropout in Nsanje

Traditional Authority (T/A) Mbenje of Nsanje has warned traditional leaders in the district that their failure to enforce by-laws instituted to address girls’ dropout from school will lead to their dismissal.

Girls performing during the open day

Mbenje sounded the warning on Sunday at Phokera Community Day Secondary School during an open day campaign organized by Nsanje District Education Office and Campaign for Female Education (Camfed) aimed at sensitizing the community on their role in protecting the girl child.

“The situation is just very bad. Can you imagine that even those that are receiving bursaries from different organizations are dropping out of school due to lack of protection from you traditional leaders and the whole community?

“I cannot continue to tolerate such things in my area as meaningful developments can hardly be achieved in my area,” he stipulated.

According to data from Phokera Community Day Secondary School, the school loses six girls due to pregnancies every year.

Currently, Community Development Committee (CDC) which works under Campaign for Female Education (Camfed) has joined those calling for the enforcement of the by-laws saying the delay is putting a strain on their efforts to safeguard the girl child.

CDC Member Mac Neil Shire said the dropping out of female learners due to pregnancies can be avoided if such by-laws are in place.

“Failure to come up with the by-laws by the district council and their enforcement of by traditional leaders is negatively impacting girl’s education. Had it been that the by-laws were being administered by the chiefs, more girls would have remained in schools,” Shire explained.

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