Role modeling crucial for girl learners – Ndanga
Chairperson for Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter, Teresa Ndanga has underscored the need for mentors in and out of school to inspire girl students and learners to achieve their goals in life.
Ndanga was speaking Tuesday at Padre Pio Secondary School in Mzuzu and Mpamba Community Day Secondary School in Nkhata Bay which was organized by the Ministry of Education.
Ndanga was one of the role models alongside Deputy Commissioner of Police responsible for Central-Western Region, Jacqueline Kainja.
“You need someone to look up to who can forward to inspire you so that you make your dreams a reality. When we’re growing up, most of us didn’t have the opportunity to visualize what we wanted to be to achieve in life,” said Ndanga.
She said girls pass through various challenges and as such they need mentors to assure them that the challenges they go through, are not unique to them and that with hard work and determination, they can achieve what they want.
Ndanga, therefore, challenged the girls at the two secondary schools to work hard at school saying nothing comes from a silver platter but through hardworking.
She then applauded the Ministry of Education for the initiative adding that in the past it was non-governmental organizations and individual women who were doing it.
“I thank government through the ministry taking lead in organizing the sessions, “she said.
Kainja also advised girls in the country to focus on education, saying education is a guarantee for a changed life if they are to become women of positive influence in future.
A Standard 6 learner at Mpamba Primary School, Matilda Manda who is 12 years old said the role modeling session had inspired the learners to have a vision in whatever they do.
Headteacher of Mpamba Community Day Secondary School, Catherine Chirwa cited lack of parental guidance as one of the major challenges leading to school dropout by girls.
“Most of the learners in the district live with their grandparents as their biological parents flock to South Africa in search for employment, “said Chirwa.
She disclosed that 12 girl learners and eight boys dropped out of school and got married within the current education term.
According to the Chief Logistics officer for the Ministry of Education, Mary Dzikommangisa, about 17,000 girls in the country dropped out of school due to pregnancies and early marriages during the Covid-19 pandemic out of which about 7, 886 were adolescents.