Malawi News Agency (Lilongwe)

19 July 2013

Malawi: Govt Calls On Parents to Guard Against Girls Dropping Out of School During Holiday

Mwanza — District Education Manager for Mwanza, Harris Kachale has stressed the need for parents and guardians to provide adequate support to their girl children during holidays for fear that they might be impregnated or get married thereby dropping out of school.

Kachale said this on Friday during a Campaign for Female Education CAMFED meeting held to prepare a girls' camp for 75 secondary school girls who are expected to be oriented on career guidance.

"Experience has shown that most girls drop out of school when they are on holidays. Many get pregnant and eventually enter into early marriage. Parents or guardians should know they have crucial responsibility to make sure their children return to school in September when schools open," he explained.

He said some men take advantage of girl's idleness at home and coax them into relationships which eventually put girls at risk of either being impregnated or forced into early marriages.

He also said chiefs have a role to play in ensuring that they have formulated by-laws that protect and promote girls education and ensure that perpetrators are given stiffer punishment.

"If a married person has impregnated a school going girl, let the law put into account the huge loss based on the girls status," he said.

Meanwhile, Mwanza Camfed will on Monday impart the 75 secondary school girls with career guidance lessons during which five role models from different professions will be explaining their education ladder.

"Girls camp will help the girls to know how to become a teacher, nurse or banker. All we want is for them to appreciate what it takes to become what they want to become in future," District Camfed Officer Eric Muthiya said.

Muthiya explained the girl's camp has come about after noticing that many secondary school students finish their studies without knowing exactly how to go about it with the profession they inspire to become.

He said the camp would also give the girls an opportunity to interact with people who have excelled in the profession they want thereby having a real life experience of their future.

Muthiya added that girls who have not made up their mind about their future profession would also be enlightened and be able to choose a career.

Apart from girls camp, Muthiya said the 22 girls who have completed their secondary school education and were benefiting from Camfed support would form a Mwanza Camfed association.

"Through this association, girls will be able to get training support, microfinance, leadership opportunities, and make friendships with their fellow Camfed beneficiaries from countries such as Tanzania and Zimbabwe," he said.

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