2, 125 Children Leave School in Neno

A learner displaying what she knows best during the commemoration event A learner displaying what she knows best during the commemoration event - pic by Steve Kalungwe

Education authorities in Neno district say a total of 2, 125 children have dropped out of school this year due to among other things child labour and neglect, discrimination based on physical challenges, forced marriages and poor school facilities.

This has been disclosed today when the district celebrated its Day of African Child where authorities have been challenged to find solutions to child protection.

Ector Taibu from the District Education Managers office says for example, a total of 42 dropped out of school to get employed, 155 were married off and 206 left school due to long distance.

"We are saddened to learn of these things and as an office we are working hard to resolve them," said Taibu.

As a solution, the office has intensified the back to school campaign, building of disability friendly structures, bursaries to the needy and collaborating with nongovernmental organizations to help ease some of the challenges that learners face in the district.

Neno District Council Chairperson Joseph Chiphaliwali says all teachers found to abscond work shall be suspended and disciplined.

"As council, we are geared up to make sure that teachers are doing their work according to their condition of service and we shall suspend all who abscond work", warned the council chair.

He also disclosed that plans are under way to have all schools with science laboratories as a measure of boosting educational standards of the district.

In his remarks, Neno district civil society organizations chairperson Samson Njolomole said he will lobby different stakeholders to support the education sector in a bid to turn around the unimpressive education record of the district.

"We want to sing a new song where we stop competing on number 34 or 45 on national level. We have all it takes to achieve greatness in education", he said.

Njolomole then called on parents and guardians to desist from preventing children to attain education saying this is a violation to the right to education.

Neno district celebrated its Day of African Child under the theme " Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children: Progress on Policy and Practice since 2013".

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