KATIMA MULILO - Two hundred and twenty-five learners have already dropped out of school in the Zambezi Region this year alone. This is according to a report from the Directorate of Education in Zambezi, seen by this reporter.
The report was shared with the Zambezi Regional Gender Permanent Task Force Committee (RGPTF) at its recent quarterly meeting. The committee chaired by the Zambezi regional governor Lawrence Sampofu is responsible with fighting social ills related to gender-based violence in the region.
According to the report, reasons for dropping out of school are among others pregnancies, too old to continue with school, early marriages and poverty that compels some learners to leave school to go and look for work.
However, the number of those who left because of getting pregnant was the highest at 88, followed by those who dropped out for falling a grade which stands at 82. Those who left for marital affairs were 28, those who were pulled out of school by their parents were 34.
Statistics also revealed that more girls dropped out of school than boys, with that number standing at 120 compared to 105 boys. This is mainly due to the fact that, the main reason girls drop out of school is becuae they have fallen pregnant.
At the meeting, Sampofu called on committee members to work together in fighting issues related to gender based violence in the region. “Committee members should work together to implement plans in our strategic plan, let us not work in isolation,” advised Sampofu.
According to its strategic plan the committee’s objective is to fight social ills like teenage pregnancy, early marriages, and suicides and gender based violence. With this in mind, the committee during the current financial year aims to hold community and school meetings, to create awareness among others on the dangers of early marriages and teenage pregnancy.