Dedza District Education Manager (DEM)’s office has warned it will not hesitate to dismiss any teacher involved in sexual relationships with students.

Desk Officer for primary schools in the district, Solley Mwale, said on Monday that sexual relationships between students and teachers are serious disciplinary issues and appealed to students and communities to be reporting such cases.

He was speaking during an open day organized by Action Aid in the district where it awarded two primary schools K300, 000 each in recognition of efforts they had made to reduce cases of violence against students.

“Parents and guardians send their children to school on the trust that they will be in safe hands of teachers, stringent action will be taken against any teacher engaging in sexual relationships with students,” Mwale said.

He said since illiteracy rate in the district is very high, every teacher has a duty to ensure that it drops.

In his remarks, Officer in Charge for Chimbiya Police Post, Marpa Kamanga said police would apprehend teachers who would found engaging in sexual activities with students, especially in cases where the students are under aged.

He further warned parents and guardians that they risk arrest if they allow their children or wards to get into teenage marriages.

“The current Child Protection Act makes it an offence for parents and guardians or any other grown up person to facilitate formation of child marriages,” he said.

Kamanga said Chimbiya police were investigating four cases involving child marriages. The police officer said all people who played a part will be arrested.

Project Manager for Action Aid in Dedza, Mary Nyasulu, said the organization was receiving funds from United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to implement a Safe Schools project which is aimed at reducing cases of abuse against students in schools.

According to Nyasulu, the project is strengthening referral systems to promote reporting of cases by communities and students themselves.

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