Tanzania: Over 50 STD Vii Pupils in Street in Dodoma Selling Family Grapes

ABOUT 55 pupils at Mlangwa Primary School in Dodoma have dropped out of school, opting to engage in selling grapes on roadsides and working at vineyards.

This was revealed here by Estelia Mawazo when delivering a farewell message to standard seven leavers during this year's graduation ceremony.

She said the pupils include 49 boys and nine girls who failed to seat for the final exams.

"They decided to be selfemployed by selling grapes and working in grape farms, which led to their dropping out," she said, adding that pupils are increasingly craving for short cuts in life, believing that going to school is not important.

The pupils who graduated yesterday were 149 from the initial 204 registered in 2014, which included 114 boys and 90 girls.

The pupils, however, asked the government and the community to help them complete their classes as required. Faraja Maulanga, the guest of honour at the ceremony said sustainable development of children can only be attained through a tripartite collaboration-the government, the community and the pupils.

He urged the government to ensure it continues providing quality education whilst requiring pupils to commit to learning hard.

He said the community must be responsible for the welfare of the child.

Maulanga recalled that President John Magufuli's administration had implemented a broad initiative to support better development of children academically, having eliminated nuisancecontributions and school fees for basic education.

He said the 55 pupils who could not graduate at the ceremony had not received appropriate parenting and nurturing by both the family and the community.

"It's high time as parents we raise our voice against acts that can cut short education dreams of the children," he said.

He asked the school and parents to set strategies that will help eliminate challenges that push pupils to opt for out of school systems.

The School Chairperson, Alfred Nyambuya admitted on the challenge, insisting, "I had instructed the school to summon all absentee pupils. I communicated with the local government authority, however, only a few returned to complete their school and the majority decided to continue doing business."

The school committee chairperson blamed parents for being irresponsible in monitoring their children as well as allowing them to engage in activities in other classrooms.

He said the school had been implementing a number of approaches, including hiring a school guard who has helped reduce absenteeism from 200 to 150 pupils a day

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