10 September 2016 Last updated at: 3:19 AM
Rise in teenage pregnancies causes alarm
As the country is urging girls to go further with education, the story is different in some parts of Nkhotakota district where too many teenage girls are getting pregnant.
The rise in number of children dropping out of school due to teenage pregnancies has been described as worrisome by chiefs and other people in the district.
According to Chief Saidi of Sani area, the high dropout rate of girls is a pathetic development considering the various initiatives that government has put in place to allow girls pursue their education.
“To the contrary most girls in this area (Sani) drop out of school when they have just completed Primary education and then they impregnated or enter into early marriages that force them to have minimal capability of contributing to things of national importance due to low level of education,” Chief Saidi said.
The Chief added that parents in the district are at the forefront encouraging their girls to continue with their education.
“Just see in this area, almost all girls between the ages of 11-16 are either teen mothers or they are pregnant, how can you expect such girls to abide to government’s plan of seeing many girls succeeding with education?” asked Said.
In his remarks, Reverend Andrew Madalitso Banda who works in the district described the development as a hindrance to progress and said urgent intervention is needed to curb the situation.
According to Reverend Banda, parents must be told about their role of encouraging girls to work hard in school and to refrain from sexual activities.
“I really feel sorry seeing a 14 year-old girl being a mother, a girl who stopped school in standard 7, I wonder what kind of mother that girl will become in 3 years,” Reverend Banda complained.
On her part, one of the teen mothers in the district said she did not see the significance of continuing with education because in her family no one is educated.
Meanwhile various organisations are working in the country to ensure that girls stay in school.
Recently, the country’s First Lady Gertrude Mutharika disclosed that proper measures have been put in place to see many girls in schools.
According to Mutharika, among other measures are construction of girls’ hostels in community day secondary school across the country to allow girls stay within their education zones.
She also said that through Beautify Malawi Trust, they have put in place an initiative called Bring Back Girl Child to school which is aimed at seeing all girls who dropped out of school having another chance continuing their education.