A child rights organisation, Plan Malawi, says the long distances that girls cover to access schools are among the factors that contribute to high dropout rates.
As a way of dealing with the problem, the organisation moved in to build modern girls hostels in secondary schools across the country.
One such hostel has been built at Kanjaluni community day secondary school in Traditional Authority (T/A) Chisemphere in Kasungu.
Speaking during the handover ceremony of the hostel on Friday, Plan Malawi’s Country Director, Lily Omondi said most girls drop out of school because of the problems they face when going to schools that are very far from them.
Omondi said most of the girls walk a distance of about 10 kilometers to reach a school which leaves them tired and sometimes they find their colleagues already in class.
“As Plan Malawi, we thought that we have to construct the girls’ hostels so that they ease some of the problems these girls face when covering long distances to school.
“With the hostels at the school, the girls will be able to continue with their education as they will avoid most of the things that force them to drop out,” said Omondi.
Omondi added that without hostels, girls fall prey to men on their way to school and some are forced into self boarding which is expensive and also risky.
The hostels were built mainly using the local communities who managed the project and Plan Malawi provided the financial resources.
Central East Education Division Manager, Billy Banda hailed the people of Chisemphere for being dedicated in managing the project, and urged the people to do a lot more so that the school has more classroom blocks.
You are very dedicated community as witnessed by this hostel. But this school accommodates a few students and as a community, you have to also make sure that the school has more classrooms so that more girls are selected (to universities or colleges), “said Banda.
The hostels have seen Plan Malawi coughing a whooping K115 million