About 11 000 adolescent girls from Mangochi and Chikwawa districts have benefited from the just-ended Joint United Nations (UN) Programme on Adolescent Girls (Jpag) which seeks to improve girls’ attendance in school in the project areas.
In both districts the programme had two components on education, namely scholarships to vulnerable girls and a nine-month programme on complementary basic education (CBE). There were 680 and 10 400 beneficiaries for each of the respective programmes.
In an interview at the weekend, Mangochi district education manager Sam Kalanda said over 100 school girls, 50 in community day secondary schools (CDSSs) and another 50 in over 15 primary schools in the district, were identified as beneficiaries.
“For example, Malindi Community Day Secondary School had no female student in Form Three because all of them had dropped out. Some had no fees while others got pregnant and eventually dropped out,” he said.
Chikwawa district youth officer Chigonjetso Chiromo said there were strides made under the programme.
The increase in school enrolment was attributed to the Jpag programme which created awareness among community members about the importance of educating girls and it also provided support to girls through, for example, providing school fees.
Between 2010 and 2014, UN agencies in Malawi developed and implemented Jpag in areas of traditional authorities (T/As) Katuli and Masache in Mangochi and Chikwawa districts respectively.