The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has claimed that over 400 girls from four districts in Manicaland have dropped out of school altogether owing to pregnancy, marriage, financial challenges and illness.
Manicaland provincial education director (PED) Mr Edward Shumba, told The Herald the figure is expected to rise as Mutare, Chimanimani and Nyanga districts are still compiling statistics following the resumption of lessons for examination classes on September 28. He said:
We have so far received statistics from Buhera, Chipinge, Mutasa and Makoni. The other three districts are yet to send the statistics, but we expect the figures to increase.
There are 96 female learners in Buhera who dropped out for marriage and five males. We also have one O’ level student who fell pregnant. Other reasons given for the dropping out are financial challenges, illness with some joining the job market.
Mr Shumba said Buhera district had registered 47 grade seven dropouts, of which 35 were girls and 12 were boys. At O’Level, 90 girls and 49 boys dropped out while one A’ level girl dropped out in the district.
In Chipinge 46 females are said to have been married while Makoni recorded 65 pregnancies and 64 marriages and Mutasa had 40 marriages.
This comes when the government recently amended the Education Act to allow pregnant learners to attend classes in all schools, which would ordinarily mean most of these children are allowed to go back to class.
More: The Herald