Sixteen girls from Kanchomba secondary School in Pemba District of Southern Province this year failed to write their exams because they were on maternity leave.
This came to light yesterday when First Lady Esther Lungu visited the school before addressing the women clubs and community members that had gathered to meet her.
The School Manager, Roy Mainga told the first lady that cases of early pregnancies in the area were rife resulting into many school dropouts.
And Mrs. Lungu described the development as saddening adding that the girl child has the right to education and good health.
She stated that it was the reason she wanted to work with chiefs and headmen in order to curb the scourge.
Mrs Lungu further said it was sad to learn that some parents were seeing girl children as a source of income for the family due to high levels of poverty in the rural areas.
She said there was need to empower women so that they are able to take their children to school adding that it was her core business to empower women as well as address issues of early marriages and pregnancies.
She further disclosed that Zambia would be hosting an African Union meeting 0n 26th – 27th November 2015 in which stakeholders who have been invited will discuss the way forward in addressing problems that affect girl children especially early pregnancies and marriages.