A recent spike in the national caseload of teenage pregnancies in the wake of the COVID – 19 pandemic is exposing gaps on the impact of Life Skills education in primary schools.
This is according to Chairperson for the Malawi Sexual Reproductive Health Rights – SRHR Alliance Donald Makwakwa.
During a recent national stakeholders meeting in Dowa, the Alliance noted cultural beliefs which deem education on sexuality a taboo and less detailed content in text books as some of the identified gaps.
A random spot check in Salima and Nkhotakota districts has established that early marriages and pregnancies have failed up to sixty girls from sitting for the on – going Primary School Leaving Certificate Examinations (PSCLE).
“We believe that this is the time we have to review the Life Skills education curriculum to ensure it fits into the comprehensive sexuality education expectations,” argued Makwakwa.
The meeting was part of a study to assess the impact of Life Skills education on the sexual reproductive lives of learners in Ntchisi, Chitipa and Mangochi districts.
Recent records in Mangochi indicate that the lake shore district has registered over 7000 teen pregnancies.
The number is 1000 higher compared to those recorded during a similar period last year.
The SRHR Alliance is implementing the project in partnership with Amref, one of Africa’s leading Medical and Research Foundation.
A Taskforce has since been instituted for further engagement on the need to review the teaching of Life Skills education in schools.
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