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Friday, 04 August 2017 10:53

Teen mothers return to school after pregnancy, CISE applauded

Written by  Aaron Banda


Some of the teen mothers who returned to school

Mchinji, August 04, 2017: Mchinji district education has applauded Community Initiative for Civic Education (CISE) for contributing to the rise in percentage of young mothers who returned to school after delivery from 15 to 29 and reduced dropout rate from 21 to 7 in the years 2016 and 2017 respectively.

The local non-governmental organization made such an achievement through implementation of ‘civic engagement project which was aimed at reducing girls’ dropout rate in primary schools in the district.

Mchinji District Education Manager Blessings Chinkhadze applauded CISE Thursday when the organisation briefed district executive committee (DEC) on the phase out of its one year project which ran from 2016 to 2017 through the basket of Tilitonse fund.

Chinkhadze said between 2011 and 2012, two education zones Boma and Kamwendo, experienced highest school dropout levels of girls and that the records show that the dropout rates were at 22 and 18 percent respectively.

“The high dropout rate for girls may be attributed to school governance structures such as school management committees (SMCs), parent teacher associations (PTAs), village and area development committees (VDCs), and (ADCs) that are ill equipped to demand quality and inclusive education for girls and learners with disability,” he said.

In her remarks, CISE field officer Miriam Mbewe said during the project implementation, the percentage of girls in standards 5 to 8 that dropped out due to pregnancies had gone down from 21 to seven.

“Cise had innovative approaches and our programming was aimed at reducing girls’ dropout rate,” Mbewe said.

She also said although the project has been successful, they encountered challenges that included lack of funds to support vulnerable girls returning to school.

During the meeting, Cise also announced the introduction of a new project in the district called ‘promotion of girl’s right to education.’

“The project has come after seeing that most adolescent girls, particularly from rural areas, lack accurate information about sexual reproductive health and rights,” Mbewe said.

The project, financed by Hivos, targets to increase attendance and reduce dropout rates for girls due to early pregnancies by 5 percent and increase readmission of those who dropped out by 10 percent by August, 2018.

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