Mchinji district education manager Nelly Kamtedza has commended Concerned Youth Organisation(CYO) for sending 25 girls back to school.
The girls, from Traditional Authority (T/A) Nyoka in the district, dropped out due to early marriages and pregnancies.
Said Kamtedza:“Girls are disadvantaged because of cultural beliefs which often favour boys in terms of access to education.
“As such, girls are left behind and most of them end up being married off. So, we need to scale-up efforts to send back girls to school.”
Mchinji Mission Community Day Secondary School head teacher Peter Mawuya said CYO’s initiative has reduced dropouts at the school.
He said. “Previously, most girls were dropping out of school. For example, in the current Form Two, out of 60 girls selected to this school, only 14 reported. The rest did not show up due to pregnancies and marriages.
“But the organisation has encouraged 25 girls to return to school.”
Tanena Joseph (not real name), who dropped out after she became pregnant, is one of the girls who returned to school.
“When CYO came, I told them I wanted to go back to school. I will work hard to fulfil my dream of becoming a nurse,” she said.
The organisation will also pay their tuition fees until they finish their secondary education.
With support from the Commonwealth of Learning from Canada, CYO is implementing a Livelihood for Women Empowerment Project in T/As Nyoka, Zulu and Mduwa in the district.