Choma, July 11, ZANIS —–A head teacher at St. Mulumba Special school in Choma district says the continued abuse of the re-entry policy for girls that get pregnant before they complete their secondary education is worrisome.
Presenting his report at a Gender Based Violence (GBV) survivor service review meeting held at the office of Choma District Administrative Officer, John Hanyanga a head teacher at St. Mulumba said in as much as the re-entry policy is good for girls that become pregnant whilst schooling the idea has been abused with impunity.
Mr Hanyanga noted that the education sector in the district is concerned with the increased number of pregnancies among school going children especially from rural areas that has come as a result of abusing the re-entry policy and has eventually ended up with many young single parents.
The head teacher who is also Acting District Education Guidance and Counselling Coordinator appealed to parents in Choma to talk to their children about the dangers of early pregnancies and marriages.
“It doesn’t ogle well for school going children to have babies, you know school time is for books and not babies,” said Mr Hanyanga.
He said there is need for children to understand that the re-entry policy is not a leeway for early pregnancies and marriages but a privilege for them to go back to school.
Meanwhile Choma General Hospital Senior Administrator who is also GBV Survivor Services Committee Chairperson, Charles Anderson called on the team to be proactive so as to reduce the gender based cases in the district.
Mr Anderson said it will also be prudent for the team to see if the interventions being applied are impacting positively on the community.
He also reviewed that Choma General Hospital has exempted fees on all GBV cases in a bid to increase the number of people accessing medical attention.
And Choma District Administrative Officer, Vincent Sikanyeela called for a holistic approach in the fight against GBV in order to eradicate it.
Mr Sikanyeela emphasized on the need for the district GBV team to coordinate and work in partnership so as to achieve the intended goal of liberating Choma from such cases that has not only brought divisions in families but also retarded development at household level.
“There is need to remove this dependency syndrome which is making women shun to report GBV cases because they fear that they will be divorced by their husbands,” said Sikanyeela.