Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima has urged artistes to champion social marketing through films and music to fight school pregnancies. Minister Mavima said nearly 600 pupils were forced out of school after falling pregnant, with almost half the number being primary learners.
"There is need for social marketing, which is done through serious messaging in the form of songs, videos and even films that encourage children in schools to desist from premature sexual activities.
"Artistes can also come up with visuals that involve participation of these children, so that they create awareness, and also talk about the adverse effects of premature sexual activities," he said.
Prof Mavima encouraged influential persons in society to champion informative radio and television programmes that talk about the challenges. He said social marketing will go a long way in reducing such ills in schools.
"There are some influential people, who could have come out of the same situations, and they can come out in the open and share their experiences.
"They can as well share on how they survived. These people can help in telling these children to stop, emphasising the adverse effects of being impregnated while in school. "It is no doubt that these people will become role models for these girls in school," he said.
Prof Mavima said artistes can as well rope in his ministry's support systems, and also engage traditional leaders, churches and other institutions involved in fighting early pregnancies among children.
"There are some artistes, who are already in such an initiative, and we are saying more should be done to make sure that the word has reached schools and communities, especially where child marriages are practised.
"It is good to mention that some artistes are already involved in the production of visuals that discourage child pregnancies, but we are saying more of that should be done and taken to schools where they inform the children," he said.