Machinga District Council chairperson Margaret Uladi, has said initiation of young girls and boys and some traditional practices hamper quality education in the district.
Speaking recently when she closed a three-day Machinga youth parliament session organised by Qadria Muslim Association of Malawi (Qmam) at Liwonde, Uladi said strengthening knowledge acquisition and self-efficacy of girls in sexual reproductive health (SRH) can help reduce school drop-out rate in the district.
“Qmam and other stakeholders are creating a platform for raising awareness on teenage and early pregnancies, SRH and the importance of continuing with education. As a council, we wholeheartedly support that cause,” she said.
Uladi also said due to culture and religion, many parents in the district deny their children an opportunity to go to school, believing they will be exposed to eating pork and mice. Instead they encourage them to go to initiation ceremonies and to marry early.
Ousmane Chunga, Qmam programmes manager, said limited availability of SRH and family planning methods has led to high rate of early pregnancies. n