Teachers in Mchinji district says lack of parents’ commitment on girl child education has contributed a lot to high girl dropout rate of girls in most primary schools across the district.
The observation was made Thursday during an interface meeting organized by a local non-governmental organization Community Initiative for Civic Education (CISE) and brought together Ward councilors, chiefs and head teachers from various schools in the district.
Lawrence Kambare, Head teacher for Tikoliwe Primary School, situated very close to the border with Zambia, said his school had registered 13 percent girl child dropouts halfway into the current academic year and blamed the statistics on parents’ lack of interest in girl education.
“Parents in this district are not helping much in girl child education; they are sending girls to go to the border to sell firewood while their friends are in class.
He said most of the girls were forced out of school due to either unplanned pregnancies or child marriages adding standards 6 and 7 were the mostly affected.
Sub-Traditional Authority Nyoka called on fellow chiefs to play a role in ending the vice by mobilizing and sensitizing their communities on bad cultural practices which are reported to have also affected girl child education due to forced marriages.
Sub-T/A said he would will call upon his chiefs in his area to set some by-laws to help to curb the malpractice in his area and at district level.
CISE Executive Director Andrew Mwanza said the organization was working hand in hand with District Education Office, Ward Councilors and chiefs in civic educating the prone areas.
“CISE as an organization working in Mchinji has implemented civic engagement project to reduce girls’ dropout rate in primary schools, so through the program 19 girls have gone back to school mostly where the project is implemented.
“Parents have a great role to play in girl child education, if we educate girl child that means we have developed the Malawi nation”, he said.