Kagera worried by high rate of school dropouts

KAGERA: KAGERA Regional Commissioner (RC) Ms Fatma Mwassa has appealed for concerted efforts among stakeholders to address the high rate of school dropouts in the region.

She explained that the rate of school dropouts among students is still high, calling for joint efforts to end the vice.

Addressing the Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa who was on a three-day working tour of Kagera Region recently, Ms Mwassa noted that some of the challenges still facing the region include high rate of school dropouts among students, adding: “Last year over 16,000 pupils attending primary schools dropped out and another 6,700 also discontinued their studies in secondary schools.

On his part, Kagera Regional Education Officer (REO), Mr Khalifa Shemahonge said about 915 out of 89,216 pupils who were registered for the Standard Seven examinations this year, failed to sit for the exams for various reasons including truancy and early pregnancies.

“We have unanimously agreed to form a special audit committee which will look at the enrollment base and come out with necessary recommendations,” Ms Mwassa said.

She further explained that the region’s income per capita currently stood at 1,455,000/- compared to the national average of 2.8m/-, while the malnutrition rate among children was still high at 34.6 per cent.

Premier Majaliwa, who is also Kagera Regional CCM Patron, expressed dissatisfaction at area’s dismal economic performance where for the last ten years, it has been holding the last position out of regions in the Mainland.

“We (leaders) have the ability and capability to make positive changes. We must stop reminding people on their poverty status and instead show them the way forward,” he said.

The Premier also reminded the leaders to leave their offices and hold regular meetings at the grassroots and listen to the citizen’s grievances. “You should not wait for national leaders to solve the problems which are within your jurisdictions. Also, make sure that you open doors of your offices to allow citizens to air their grievances,” he said.

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