KARONGA (MaraviPost)—Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese on Friday expressed concern as regards the high school dropout rate among girls in his area due to early marriages and teenage pregnancies which remain high despite efforts to curb them. The diocese carters for Karonga, Rumphi and Chitipa districts in the northern Malawi.
Mtumbuka expressed this concern on his tour to some parts of the diocese.
According to Mtumbuka, the diocese has come up with different measures to end the problems.
“I am very concerned with girls’ school dropout rate in these three districts. This is because of lack of girls’ school infrastructures such as boarding schools,” said Mtumbuka.
“This remains a big problem and it fuels early marriages and teenage pregnancies especially because girls travel long distances to go to school where they encounter a lot temptations,” he added.
Mtumbuka revealed that his diocese will build girls’ boarding schools in the districts.
“As of now, we have managed to build three boarding schools in these areas which include Wiliro secondary school, St. Mary’s’ girls in Karonga and Kaseye in Chitipa districts,” he disclosed.
According to Mtumbuka, the schools will accommodate a good number of girls “for instance St. Mary’s only will accommodate 600 girls.”
He then asked parents to encourage their girl child to like education by providing them with their needs saying “despite building enough boarding schools, girls may continue dropping out if parents fail to give them their needs.”
Meanwhile, the Foundation for Community Support Services (FOCUS) in Karonga district has embarked on campaign of returning married teenage girls to school.