LONG distances to school have been noted as one of the major reasons many teenage girls opt to drop out and get married in Kapiri Mposhi district.
MMD Kapiri Mposhi’s Chibwelelo ward councillor Dorothy Mambwe said 26 girls in Mukonchi area have since dropped out of school after falling pregnant.
“Many girls want to access an education but because of the long distances they have to travel, they simply opt to drop out and get married rather than continue trekking. It is really unfortunate because these are brilliant girls most of whom even pass their grade seven examinations,” Ms Mambwe said.
She said in an interview that the school girls aged between 12 and 20 have ended up married to elderly men and in most cases taken as second wives.
“This is unacceptable because it disadvantages girls. We have now intensified campaigns to raise awareness on the importance of education for all. But it does not help if schools are located far from the villages. We have to have schools built as close to the communities as possible,” she said.
Ms Mambwe has since called on Government to build as many schools as possible as well as address teachers’ accommodation so that pupils in rural areas have the same opportunities to access education as those in urban areas.
Meanwhile, Ms Mambwe appealed to well-wishers to donate educational materials to the three community schools in her ward.
“As a community, we will appreciate any assistance rendered in form of educational materials, which includes computers so that we improve the standard of education,”she said.
Last year, 12,500 pregnancies were recorded among primary school pupils while 2,428 fell pregnant in secondary schools.
Zambia Daily Mail