The Ministry of Education Science and Technology has expressed concern over increased school drop outs by girls due to unplanned pregnancies.
Speaking on Wednesday in Salima when introducing a joint United Nations (UN) project, “improving access and quality of education for girls in Malawi,” deputy director for school health and nutrition Charles Mazinga said there is a greater need to improve access, quality and relevance of education for girls in the country if Malawi is to register change.
“Education is key to fighting poverty. Educating girls is the single most powerful investment for development as it is believed that when a girl gets educated, the whole nation gets educated,” said Mazinga.
The three-year project is worth K7.2 billion and funded by Norway. It is supported by the UN through the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
It will be implemented in selected schools of Dedza, Salima and Mangochi.
Getting girls to stay in school remains a major challenge in Malawi and according to government figures, only 27 percent of girls complete primary education.
Only half of Malawian girls aged 15-24 are literate. Gender parity now stands at 1:1 in the lower primary school grades, but disparities emerge as early as Standard Four, according to the government. n