A rise in the number of school dropouts, high rate of teenage pregnancy and rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among the youths are some of the problems brought by the discovery of gold deposits in Mudzi district, Mashonaland East province.
This was exposed during a recent Mashonaland East family planning and adolescent sexual reproductive health (ASHR) meeting that was held in Marondera.
Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) Mashonaland East monitoring and evaluation officer, David Murwira said that Mudzi rural was leading in school dropouts.
He called for the empowerment of the rural girl to eradicate the rising scourge. Said Murwira:
It seems as if the modern girl child is well informed about her rights and what to do when faced with certain situations compared to her rural counterpart.
As a result, stakeholder participation is vital to empower the rural girl not to drop out of school due to early marriage or pregnancy.
An education official bemoaned the rise in drug abuse and prostitution in public schools in Marondera. He said:
Drug abuse and prostitution in schools are a cause for concern; a school headmaster from a certain school here in Marondera recently wrote a letter to the provincial education director (PED) seeking permission to expel more than 20 pupils at his school who were in the habit of openly abusing drugs at the school.
The drugs were supplied by well-known drug dealers from the school’s vicinity who are not arrested even if reported to the law enforcement agents.