SONGWE: SONGWE Regional Commissioner (RC) Dr Francis Michael has tasked regional and district leaders to devise viable strategies that will diminish the increasing number of school dropouts in the region.
He said he was not pleased with the report that shows 45 per cent of children aged between 15 to 19 years have dropped out of school mainly because of early pregnancies, early marriages and engaging into child labour.
“This is our problem and it is a must for us to work together at all levels from health care providers, teachers, defence and security agencies and the community in general to deal with this problem of child labour and early marriages,” he said.
He demanded that schools headteachers must provide statistics on the number of girls who drop out of schools because of being pregnant and provide progress report of cases of those who have impregnated the underage.
“There is a big problem that we must address…our children are being impregnated while in schools and nothing is being done about it… cases are just being placed under the carpets,” complained the RC.
Dr Michael said that the regional government was aware that some parents send their children to work to supplement the household income as well as marrying them off.
He said the regional governmental was focused to combat child labour and early marriages by promoting welfare of children and their protection from child labour.
“To eradicate the problem, we must work together and take appropriate measures so as to help these children realise their dreams. The future of these children depends on how we protect them and guide them towards the right direction,” he said.