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School absenteeism hits Chikwawa

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Heavy absenteeism among learners of 14 primary schools in Ngabu Zone is compromising the standard of education in Chikwawa.

The challenge has prompted Ngabu Zone Primary Education Adviser, Harry Chisaka, to urge traditional leaders to enforce by-laws so that parents should play their role.

Chisaka blamed parents for neglecting their role of ensuring that children are in school.

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He said parents should be held accountable, hence the need for traditional leaders to enforce by-laws so that children should actively participate in school activities.

“Thursdays most pupils do not come to school as it is a market day at Ngabu Trading Centre, and some pupils sell merchandise for their parents. During this winter, we have also noted that parents are busy in their gardens, hence they lose focus on ensuring that their children are in school.

“In collaboration with the traditional leaders and the council, we came up with by-laws to address these challenges but the situation remains the same. We, therefore, call upon the traditional leaders to start enforcing these laws so that parents should be held accountable,” said Chisaka.

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Fawema District Coordinator, Nenani Mkazi, said Friday during primary schools open day at Makande Primary School in the district that some cultural practices are impacting heavily on education in Chikwawa.

“We have observed several challenges that are affecting girl child education as well as all the pupils in general and one of the challenges is culture. Initiation ceremonies here keep girls out of school and by the time they resume studies, they are left behind. Another challenge is that of absenteeism, it is a big challenge and the reason is that parents lack passion,” Mkazi said.

Fawema, a non-governmental organisation that is working with primary school committees and traditional leaders in promoting primary school education, is running a project which aims at encouraging primary school learners to read English as one way for sharpening pupils to be conversant with the Queen’s language.

Meanwhile, Fawema awarded Changa Primary School K100,000 for being vibrant in girl-child education.

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