12 girls at Linjidzi Primary school in Lunzu- Blantyre, have failed to sit for Primary School Leaving Certificate (PSLCE) examination this year following their drop out for early marriage.
Speaking to Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Wednesday, Linjidzi Primary school Head teacher, Yamikani Kasambara expressed concern over the development despite the schools’ effort to end the same.
“Early marriage has become prevalent at the school such that we are losing a lot of pupils. This year alone, we have 12 girls who have dropped out of school, an increase from 8 girls last year (2018),” he said.
He explained, “Due to lack of role models, absence of a lady teacher, inadequate classrooms and library which make the school not environmentally friendly, dropout rate increases.”
Kasambara further said the school holds sensitization meetings with chiefs and surrounding communities frequently in a quest to end child marriages. But he said the meetings are not yielding anything.
He, therefore, called on Non-Governmental organizations that work on rescuing girls from child marriages and well wishers to come forward and build classrooms and library at Linjidzi Primary School to motivate the pupils.
Girls Empowerment Network (Genet) Executive Director, Faith Phiri said as an organisation, they would consider ways of intervening in the situation.
Genet, through its project “marriage no child’s play” in 2018, rescued 352 girls from child marriages across Malawi.
The Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare works hand in hand with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) in a quest to end under-age marriages.
Last year, the ministry in collaboration with UN Women embarked on a project to render education support to, and equip girls with entrepreneurship skills so that they are empowered to either go back to school or be economically stable.