DODOMA:THE government plans to conduct a study to identify the main challenges that have been fueling girls to drop out of schools, so as to come up with recommendations for a permanent solution.
The study, according to the Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adolph Mkenda, is expected to be conducted in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), whereas the government will provide an intellectual capability, while the latter will offer financial support.
Prof Mkenda was speaking in the capital Dodoma on Wednesday when officiating at the International Day of Girls Child, which was marked here at the national level.
“This study seeks to complement President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s desire that no one should be left behind in the education system and that is why, we have been commending the Head of State for her decision to allow teen mothers back to school,’’ he said.
According to data by UNICEF, nearly 1 in 5 girls are still not able to complete lower-secondary education. Furthermore, 4 in 10 girls are not completing upper-secondary education, and, nearly 1 in 4 adolescent girls married at the age of 15-19 have experienced sexual or physical violence by their partners at least once in their life.
Therefore, Prof Mkenda insisted that the government really wanted to find out the major setbacks which were fueling girls to drop out of school, as he requested UNICEF to support the government for this plan.
Speaking at an event which was marked at the popular Msalato Girls Secondary School, the Chief of Education at UNICEF Tanzania, Mr Daniel Baheta, said UNICEF was heartened to witness the government’s decision to remove obstacles that hinder girls’ access to quality education.
“For instance, the decision to allow pregnant adolescent girls and teenage mothers to return to school is commendable, as it opens doors to a brighter future for them and their children.
Mr Baheta reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to continue supporting the government in advancing girls’ empowerment, insisting that investing in girls’ education was an investment in prosperity. “It is a powerful tool for breaking the cycle of poverty and inequality,” he added.
Yesterday, the International Day of Girl Child was attended by various education stakeholders including top leaders from the government.
Every year on October 11, the global community observes the International Day of Girl Child. The day aims to focus on the importance of “girls’ education, their rights and promoting gender equality.” The day urges global communities to make changes that could empower girls.
The theme of International Day of the Girl 2023 is, “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being.” The theme focuses on taking action to curtail girls’ and women’s rights and gain progress on gender equality.
In 1995, countries at the World Conference on Women in Beijing unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing rights of the females.
Years later, on 19 December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Resolution 66/170 to declare ‘October 11’ as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognise their rights and the challenges they face.