Word Alive Commission for Relief and Development (Wacrad) is implementing a one-year pilot project in Traditional Authority (T/A) Chiseka in Lilongwe aimed at motivating 234 Standard Six girls at Mitundu Primary School to complete primary school and achieve high academic success.
Wacrad director Patricia Semphere said the organisation decided to pilot the project after a research they conducted in April 2015 revealed that only 10 percent of girls that enrolled in Standard One in Mitundu Education Zone between 2007 and 2015 reached Standard Eight.
“Mitundu Education Zone currently has 1 720 girls who are above the primary school age of 6-13 years, representing 51.5 percent of girls in the zone. Studies have indicated that girls with an average class performance are more likely to leave school because of repetition or the rising cost of attending school,” said Semphere.
According to her, the project is exploring three strategies, namely: Girl Power Clubs which aim at establishing and maintaining positive peer pressure, Role Modelling and Mentorship, where over aged girls are linked to 16 female students from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) as their mentors; and My Life Story Motivational Conference, where women achievers share their success stories.
Florence Chiutsi, who shared her life story during the first My Life Story Motivational Conference as a girl forced to take responsibility of her siblings when she was in Standard Four but managed to complete tertiary education, said the project will help girls who are going through difficult situations to stay focused on school.