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Malawi Education: CAMFED worried by increasing girls’ school drop-out rate

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By Pulse: A non-governmental organization, the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), has raised alarm over increasing girls’ school drop-out rate in Malawi despite comprehensive bursary.

A non-governmental organization, the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), has raised alarm over increasing girls’ school drop-out rate in Malawi.

The Chairperson of CAMFED’s District Committee, Gossam Mafuta, said the dropout rate is still high even though the organization provides a comprehensive bursary, including necessary education materials such as school uniforms, shoes, learning materials and sanitary wears.

Speaking during a local leaders’ meeting for sensitizing Chiefs across Mulanje on the importance of encouraging girls in education, Mafuta said girls face a lot of challenges that kills their morale, leading to the high dropout rate.

Mafuta, who is also the District Education Manager, said parents also discriminate against their female children when it comes to education.

“What we’re saying is that parents in the communities do not seem to accept girls as children per say; which is why you would find that a family that bears only girls would go on and on and on bearing children in order to just have a boy,” Mafuta said.

“In the same way when it comes to education, the family would rather educate a boy who is younger than an older girl for obvious reasons that they don’t have confidence in the girl child to succeed in life in terms of education.”

One of the community leaders at the event, Senior Chief Nkanda of Chambe, said many parents in the communities do not value education at all.

“You’ll see that sending a child to an initiation camp, for example, is very expensive: Parents have to pay huge sums of money and chickens to the chiefs and the counselors, they provide food, they buy new clothes for the children, they pay for the performances that take place on the final day, and so many more that when you add up such expenses you’ll find that they spend sometimes over K30,000 and even more; but when a child from that very same family is selected to a Community Day Secondary School that costs K15, 000 a year, the family will say, we’re poor we can’t afford it.”

Student Pulse gathered that 90 percent of the affected girls dropped out after being impregnated.
CAMFED is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating poverty in Africa through the education of girls and the empowerment of young women.

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