The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology says it will continue supporting girl-child education as a way of reducing early and unintended pregnancies among adolescent girls across the country.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Justin Saidi made the remarks on Thursday during the launch of the Campaign on Early and Unintended Pregnancy and the Revised Readmission Policy at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
Speaking at the ceremony, Saidi said government has been and will continue to make sure that barriers that prevent girls from finishing school are removed using the policy that has been launched.
Saidi added that education is a basic requirement for human development and the right to education is a fundamental human right.
“Government through the Ministry of Gender, Children, Social and Welfare has achieved parity in primary education which is one of the Sustainable Development Goals and the ministry of education is constructing 250 secondary schools across to improve education standards,” he explained.
In her remarks, UNFPA Country Representative Young Hong said the campaign which also empowers girls to voice out their problems will have a positive impact on behavior change in terms of HIV and AIDS, maternal and child health.
Hong added that acquisition of knowledge, attitudes and skills will result in youth, especially girls, becoming productive citizens who will contribute towards national development.
She then said that it is her hope that different stakeholders including government, religious and traditional leaders will take the policy to their districts so that many people will know it exists and that girls who drop out of school will be able to be readmitted.
Hong assured that UNFPA together with UNESCO is fully committed to supporting government to implement the Policy.
Statistics show that 30% of all maternal deaths in Malawi occur in adolescents and that chances of these young girls contracting HIV are also high as over 50% of new infections occur in girls aged between 15-24 years.