Female students from 65 secondary schools in Zomba and Machinga districts have been advised to prioritise on education if they are to become productive citizens.
Zomba City Council deputy mayor Davie Maunde said this on Tuesday at Zomba Urban Community Day Secondary School where he presided over the launch of a scholarship award by Family Health International (FHI 360) in all secondary schools clusters of Zomba.
The organisation, with support from the United States government, is implementing an innovative and integrated community-led girls’ education initiative that focuses on paying school fees as well as providing school uniform, sanitary towels and learning materials to girls in public secondary schools in the two districts.
The initiative aims at encouraging girls’ successful transition, retention and completion of secondary education.
“We are inspired to learn that all girls in the two districts have access to education, a development that brings hope of a developed nation. We urge the girls to be disciplined and hard-working in their studies,” he said.
Likangala Secondary School head teacher Kinly Chavula said the school fees initiative will curb absenteeism and school dropouts among female students.
FHI 360 project director Mary Mitochi said apart from empowering the girls, they also support few boys with scholarships as well as strengthening capacity of communities to have a positive mindset.
“Our objective is to ensure that we develop a generation of well-educated people that will make informed decisions on the socio-economic development of the country,” she said.