By Christopher Chisi
The government has observed that if the problem of school drop-out, especially among girls, is left unchecked, it will be difficult for the country to achieve Gender Equality including the SADC threshold of 50 percent women representation in parliament.
According to the Ministry Of General Education,2017 statistics indicate that the drop-out rate for girls at primary school level is at 1.7 compared to 1.3 percent for boys while at secondary school level it stands at 1.5 percent while that of boys stands at 6 percent.
“Small as these percentages may seem, when translated into absolute numbers they represent big numbers of girls dropping out of school and if this trend is allowed to continue, it will be difficult for the country to achieve Gender equality, including the SADC threshold of 50 percent women representation in parliament, “He observed
And Minister of General Education David Mabumba says the cost of secondary education among other factors remain a constraint to keeping girls in schools.
Mabumba was speaking during the handover ceremony of 16 Motor Vehicles to schools implementing the Keeping Girls in School Project.
Among the 16 Districts which received the motor vehicles include Samfya, Petauke, Chavuma and Lunga District.
Mabumba further revealed that the ministry has recorded some progress in implementing the Keeping in Girls in School initiative.
He indicated that by the end of the project close to 25,000 girls are likely to benefit from the initiative against 14,000 girls planned for in the project document
“The ministry projects that from the resources available, additional 9000 girls will be added to the bursary scheme by term two of 2019 by scaling up to additional 11 more districts,” He said.
And speaking at the same event World Bank Representative Abidemi Coker observed that the “Keeping Girls in School” Program is an important social protection program.