President Peter Mutharika has given startling and disturbing figures on school dropout, saying in some districts, the dropout rate is as high as 90 percent.
Mutharika expressed the concern during the Mulhako wa Alhomwe annual event Saturday at Chonde in Mulanje.
In some districts, only 10 per cent finish school. This is bad. We need to teach our children our cultural heritage as well as encourage them go to school,” said the president who did not name the districts hit hard by the school dropout.
Paramount Chief Ngongoliwa, the head of the lhomwe chiefs, said at the function that children are no longer told to have sex as way of cleansing themselves after initiation ceremony due to the high prevalence rate of HIV and Aids and encouraging them to concentrate on their education.
At a different event in Zomba, principal secretary for the ministry of Gender Owen Luhanga said only 12 out of every 100 adults in Malawi know how to read and write, a situation he described as worrisome.
He said this calls for change of policy on adult literacy classes, saying the government has now directed that women and men should be taught in different classes to encourage more men attend the classes.
“Men tend to be shy. They don’t like learning with women,” he said.
He said the government plans to place qualified teachers in adult literacy classes and place them on full monthly pay just like other teachers to motivate them.
He said among the youth, 75 out of every 100 are literate.