A non-governmental organization has brought back to school about 127 girls who dropped out of school for various reasons in Mchinji district.
This has been done under “Girl Inspire Project” which the organisation is implementing with financial support from Canadian based Commonwealth of Learning (COL).
Project’s Field Officer for Concerned Youth Organisation (CYO), Faith Chiwenda, in an interview said the project seeks to ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education.
“Mchinji district faces numerous gender inequalities which among other factors are perpetuated by school drop outs and child marriages.
“We have therefore been intensifying efforts through the project in motivating school drop outs to return to school by taking advantage of the readmission policy and it is working, as of now 127 girls have returned to school,” said Chiwenda
Chiwenda added that the organisation has also successfully brought back 31 girls from child marriages which have been dissolved in the district.
The organisation is also providing material and school fees support to some girls from the group.
In a separate interview, Mchinji District Education Manager Nelly Kamtedza commended CYO for complementing government’s efforts in promoting access to education.
“Girls are disadvantaged because of cultural beliefs which often favor boys in terms of access to education. This being the case, girls are left behind and most of them are married off. It is therefore pertinent to join hands with partners like CYO in addressing such issues” said Kamtedza.
Meanwhile through “Girl Inspire Project”, CYO is also providing of computer trainings to girls under Traditional Authorities of Nyoka, Zulu and Mduwa in the district.
Head teacher at Sopa Community Day Secondary School, Davie Mwasiya, has commended the initiative saying it is a key to unlocking opportunities for girls in this digital era as well as a motivation for girls to come to school.
“It is a motivation for girls to continue working hard and complete their education; here in the rural areas it is challenging to access computer skills. These computer lessons will help girls to maximize their employment opportunities thereby bridging gender gaps in Information and Communication Technology,” said Mwasiya.