Mzimba, Fourteen girls from Mzoma Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Mzimba District were forced to drop out of school in this school year’s second term alone after falling pregnant.
According to Head teacher of the school, Steve Ghambi, the girls’ pregnancies were discovered after commencing the second term following hospital check-ups.
Some of the girls found pregnant were in form three while others were in form four and they were supposed to sit for the 2017 Malawi School Certificate Examinations (MSCE).
The head teacher attributed the sad development to poverty which, he said, forces the girls to be in relationship with men who can give them money.
I can say that this stems from poverty where most parents do not support the education of their children, hence their engagement in sexual relationships with men, Ghambi observed.
He added that long distances the learners, including girls, do travel to the school, contribute in putting the girls at the risk of being harassed sexually while on their way to school.
There is need for stakeholders to consider constructing a girls’ hostel for security if we are to check incidents of pregnancies, he said, urging parents in the area to support education of their children to avoid early pregnancies.
When asked to comment on the matter, Mzimba South District Education Manager, Fanuel Chiowa, declined to do so, saying the regional education manager was better placed to shade light on the matter.
Call the regional education manager because they are the ones responsible to answer on the matter, Chiowa said.
The incident of pregnancies at Mzoma CDSS comes at a time there is an outcry that the district’s education standards are going down, among other reasons, escalated by more interest among the youth to trek to South Africa than to continue with education.
The Government of Malawi is constructing girls’ hostels in community day secondary schools in the country to reduce girls’ vulnerability to abuses such as sexual harassment by men which sometimes lead to early pregnancies.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA