NGOs, development partners must intensify their efforts to protect boy child too

AS 60 per cent of violent acts against children occur at home and the remaining percentage in other areas, statistics show that the male group of students is the most vulnerable section in the country with a lot of dropouts of school in comparison to their female counterparts.

Such statistics mean the issue of child protection is the responsibility of everyone in our society to ensure the well-being of the child regardless of his gender.

In stressing matter, recently Mkuranga District Commissioner (DC), Ms Khadija Nasir called on non-governmental organisations and development partners to cooperate with the government to ensure that the female child is protected against acts of violence similar to the male child.

The DC made the call recently during the donation-handing over ceremony of uniforms and school supplies worth 60 m/- to more than 288 female students from poor families to enable them continue with their secondary school studies.

The donation ceremony was conducted at Dundani Secondary School, Mkuranga District, and was part of the implementation of the Girls Retention and Transition Initiative (GRTI).

“While we continue to look at how to save female children… we have to know that even our male children are not safe too,” she underlines.

According to National Basic Education Statistics in Tanzania (BEST) in 2020, at the primary school level, a total of 115,519 boys as students and 83,301 girls as students dropped out of school in the country.

At the secondary level, a total of 57,544 boys dropped out of school and 55,940 girls were reported to have cut short their studies with absenteeism being mentioned to be the main source of both male and female students dropping out of the studies.

According to BEST’s statistics, Simiyu is the leading region in the country with a number of students who dropped out of school due to various reasons. Apart from the above-mentioned reasons, there are other environmental factors like extreme poverty that lead to absenteeism, and eventually, the students’ dropout of school.

Francis Waliko (17) represents those students who face similar mentioned above challenges as a student at Isidori Shirima Secondary School located in Masasi District, Mtwara region.

Despite having a dream of becoming a doctor in the future, his educational journey is not easy and has encountered many challenges, which also face other students to give up or fail to live their academic desires.

“My dream job is to become a doctor so that I can save people’s lives, particularly my societies,“ he says.

In his academic journey, he has witnessed his classmates who started school with, dropout due to peer groups and family influences. According to him, staying away from temptations, studying hard and listening to the elders are among the weapons to attain his dream.

Despite performing well academically,  Waliko highlights various challenges she faces while in school including lack of learning and laboratory equipment, absence of dormitories as well as lack of electricity.

“We have one laboratory in our school, as I speak it is not clear which subject it is for because it involves all science subjects … our laboratory also lacks some equipment,”  says Mr Waliko, adding that speaking confidently is one of the factors that made his patron convince him to join the Champion Club.

Champion Club is a programme initiated by HakiElimu, a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) which intends to educate children finding themselves as victims of gender violence.

The organisation has initiated a total of 127 champion clubs in both primary and secondary schools countrywide.

“Champion club has not only helped me to stay away from absenteeism but also it educates me on how to cooperate with women in various activities than the previous time and avoid misbelief against them,” he says.

Despite the champion club having great support for both female and male students, Waliko asked HakiElimu to increase their strength in giving more gender education by holding regular concerts about the importance of such education.

In a related development, Waliko called on the government and development partners to support the construction of dormitories and connect them with electricity in his school to provide ample time for self-studies among students.

“The presence of dormitories and electricity will increase the performance of the students in our school since we will get extra time to study,” he says

Related Articles

Back to top button