Seventy-one pupils in //Karas region dropped out of school in the first trimester of the 2017 academic year, revealed //Karas education deputy director Petrus Titus yesterday.
Titus revealed the figure at the Women's Action for Development (Wad) graduation ceremony at Keetmanshoop.
Titus said the high number of children dropping out of school was worrying, especially since in 2016 alone 101 //Karas schoolgirls fell pregnant.
According to Titus, the 2017 dropouts were primarily caused by lack of interest in school, inadequate guidance and involvement by parents in their children's education and the relocation of parents.
Statistics from the Education Management Information System (Emis) of the education ministry show that more than 22 000 pupils enrolled in 2011 and 2012 dropped out of school in 2016 because of various reasons. Titus said failure by some parents to control their children was a primary contributing factor to the high school dropout rate.
"Keep your child under surveillance. Know what they are doing," he advised parents, while urging them to be an example to their children.
"Gone are days when you were merely telling your child not to imitate wrong things you are doing. You need to lead by example," he stressed.
Wad director Salatiel Shinedima also highlighted the importance of parenting.
"Unfortunately, parents nowadays make schools dumping grounds because they are unable to give guidance," he said, urging parents to take their children's education seriously.
The director advised parents to take at least an hour to teach their children values, adding this would reduce social ills and alcohol and drug abuse, school dropouts and alcohol-related violence.
//Karas chief medical officer Dr Refanus Kooper revealed that for June and July alone 74 stabbing incidents were treated at regional hospitals.
"To translate, every day one person is stabbed," Kooper said. Recently, a 20-year-old young man was stabbed to death at the Keetmanshoop State Hospital following a street fight between two groups.
In his address, //Karas Regional Council chairperson Jan Scholtz urged Wad graduates to put what they learned into practice. More than 220 unemployed youth received certificates for completing short courses in computer literacy, office administration and needle work.