Ministry of Education Science and Technology has lamented that poverty and lack of role models are contributing to high school dropout among girls in the country.
Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje made the remarks Saturday afternoon at Phalombe Secondary School in Phalombe district when she presided over launch of an initiative championed by First Lady Monica Chakwera through Shaping Our Future Foundation called Girls Mentorship Program.
According to NyaLonje, 3,923 secondary school girls dropped out of school during the 2019/20 academic calendar.
“Statistics have shown that during the 2019/20 academic year school closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 4092 secondary school learners dropped out of school as a result of pregnancies or early marriages. Of these, 3,923 were girls while 169 were boys,” said NyaLonje.
NyaLonje said her ministry is working to eradicate challenges that girls are facing in their education.
The minister further said girls who dropped out of school will be allowed to go back to school.
“My ministry is working hard to ensure that barriers to girls’ education are addressed because we passionately believe that ‘educating a girl is educating the whole nation’. My ministry has put in place the re-admission policy that allows leaners who mighty have dropped out due to various reasons to go back to school,” said NyaLonje.
The minister also appealed with students who dropped out of school to go return to school so as to achieve their goals.
During the launch, NICO Group donated K2.5 million to Shaping Our Future Foundation.