Chitipa — District Education Manager (DEM) for Chitipa, Votie Mboweni has called on girls who got married during the Covid-19 pandemic forced school break, to go back to school following full re-opening of schools on Monday, October 12.
In an interview with Mana, the DEM said about 269 school girls in the district have either gotten pregnant or married during the five month school break but said his office was determined to get those girls back to school.
"We are happy that government directed that all the girls who got married during the school break should go back to school, and currently, about 40 girls in the district have already been rescued from those marriages."
"In order to further help such girls, we have trained mother groups to provide support to the girls like giving them writing materials, school uniforms as well as face masks," said Mboweni.
He said re-opening of primary schools will be done in a way to avoid overcrowding whereby Standards 1 up to Standard 4 learners will be alternating between days while standards 5 to 7 will be attending classes the whole week.
Commenting on the issue, one concerned parent, Merriam Mkandawire said it is pleasing that remaining classes have started school saying most leaners forgot about school because of the long holiday.
"We appreciate the government for considering that schools should resume because it was very difficult to control the youths in the communities because school is one of the remedy that keeps them busy all the time," said Mkandawire.
Speaking in an interview, district environmental health officer for Chitipa (Deho), Sam Chirwa said the second phase of re-opening of school will still follow strict Covid-19 preventive measures despite the dwindling cases of Coronavirus.