Primary School learners under Senior Chief Dambe in Mchinji have petitioned traditional leaders, demanding immediate action following rising cases of child marriages and teenage pregnancies in the area.
Through the petition presented to Senior Chief Dambe, the learners among other things are demanding quick review of by-laws and formulation of a special taskforce to deal with issues of child marriages and teenage pregnancies.
In an interview, Agnes Jafari, a standard 8 learner at Nthema Primary School said it is sad to note that despite having by-laws in the area, some chiefs are adamant in the fight against issues of child marriages and teenage pregnancies.
“This has a greater impact on the access to education as most youths in the area are failing to complete their education,” she said.
Meanwhile, Senior Chief Dambe has acknowledged the concerns addressed by the concerned learners.
Dambe said he would be engaging chiefs in the area to revise the by-laws and start implementing in aneffort to curb the vice.
“It is sad to note that my area has registered an increase on child marriage and teenage pregnancies. I will be meeting my fellow chiefs so that we map the way forward on how best we can address the said issues,” he said.
The last survey conducted early last month by education authorities in 13 primary school zones in the district revealed that about 80 girls became pregnant, while about 130 young boys and girls entered into marriage since closure of schools in March this year due to Covid-19.