Communities in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kilupula in Karonga have blamed high school dropout on long distance to school.
Group village head Mangwera said this during a community quarterly review meeting called Future Planning for the Child (FPC) organised last Thursday at Kakoma Primary School.
When pupils finish Standard Five at Nalutute Junior Primary School, they have to go to another school to complete primary education. The nearest is Mwanjasi Primary School, 18 kilometres (km) away. The other two—Chikutu Primary School and Chisi Primary School—are 25 km and 30 km away respectively.
Mwangwera said it was sad that since the school’s establishment in 1992, government has not upgraded it to a full primary school.
“However, we commend FPC for their project as now we have community-based childcare centres in the area where children get elementary education.
“Due to long distance to the nearest full primary school, many girls drop out of school and get married,” he said.
Lughano Mwakhwawa, whose child dropped out due to long distance, asked authorities to upgrade the school.
Karonga District Council human resources manager Franklin Mtambo pushed back the blame to the community.
He said in a decentralised system of government, village development committees identify projects to be prioritised.
“Let them identify what is a priority and then present it to their elected leaders. They should also provide 25 percent required resources such as bricks and sand for the project and the council will come up with technical advice,” said Mtambo.
FPC programmes manager Blessings Kasache said he was pleased with progress made in the six-month of the three-year project.