Blantyre, District Education Manager (DEM) for Blantyre Rural responsible for primary education, Paul Chiphanda Wednesday said school dropout in many schools in the district is improving courtesy of many initiatives that the authorities are implementing.
Speaking to the Malawi News Agency (Mana) Chiphanda said the school dropout rate is currently at 8 percent compared to the past five year’s 20 percent.
As a district we have developed a number of systems aimed at encouraging pupils to remain in school and also attract teachers to distant places as well as keep them in those remote areas.
Among the many initiatives we are implementing that have helped curb school dropouts include holding meetings with parents (PTA meetings) where parents or guardians are encouraged to entice their children to
remain in school, abolishing some of the cultural practices that hinder the education life of a child and also bringing role models to various schools within the district for pupils to learn from them and be encouraged to forge ahead, Chiphanda said.
Not only that, continuance provision of hardship allowance to teachers, construction of more teacher’s houses and double shift allowances are also some of the initiatives the district is implementing.
We are also constructing more classrooms to avoid pupils from learning under sunshine and in the rain, for we are sure know that this could be a drawback for many of them if not addressed, added Chiphanda.
Group Village Headman (GVH) Ntenje of Blantyre confirmed of the abolishment of some cultural practices deemed to be dangerous and in conflict with education life of children.
As chiefs from this area, we have taken a bold step and we will not encourage practices that will ruin lives of our boys and girls, he said.
Just Like Chiphanda, GVH Ntenje also noted the need for additional classrooms if more children were to remain in school.
He said; Yes, we have more pupils in schools now compared to the past few years however lack of classrooms and desks are challenges that authorities must find solution to.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA