Sinazongwe district education office has expressed sadness at the high number of School girls getting married and being pregnant.
Sinazongwe District Acting Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Sitwiinda Sikabanga revealed stunning results at a workshop held for headmen at Sinazeze that 128 girls were married in 2007 from January to December while 87 girls were pregnant.
Mrs. Sikabanga told the gathering that included village headmen from Chief Sinazongwe area and Senior Chief Mweemba that 99 married girls were recorded from the 43 government Schools in the district and 83 three pregnancies.
She said out of the 36 Community Schools in the district 29 girls got married while four had pregnancies.
“Where is the problem? What is causing the girl child to stop Schooling, it is all our duty to address this difficulty of girls failing to go to School because parents give them extra jobs at home while teachers continue teaching,” She said.
Mrs. Sikabanga said some parents stop their girls from going to School to look after their ailing mothers and helping them to cultivate.
She noted that long distance to Schools was another factor that was hindering girls to go to School because they fear men to attack them on the way and they lack role models.
Sinazongwe District Commissioner (DC) Laiven Apuleni said government does not take pleasure in seeing girls failing to complete School because the scenario was outdated and retrogressive.
Mr. Apuleni said it was painful to observe that girls were failing to go to School when the parents had a duty to ensure that they encourage them to get educated.
He said it was unfortunate that they were parents in the district who still think a educating a girl child was waste of time.
“Those beliefs are outdated, disturbing, and retrogressive, we will never bring development to the district as there is no country that has attained development without educated people,” Mr Apuleni said.
Headman Wilyson Chiyanika said there was a tendencies of men enticing girls when their breasts starts growing and it was resulting in the high number of girls getting pregnant and married.
Headman Victory Mwiinde of Mutambo village in Senior Chief Mweemba said there should be continuous education for parents to be encouraging their girl child on the importance of going to School.
Sinazongwe District Standards Officer Dyason Syabwanta said parents should take advantage of the government policy of retaining back girls who get pregnant while at School to avoid disturbing their future.
Sinazongwe District Standards Officer Benson Zemba said parents should also help in maintaining the standards of Schools to provide a safe learning environment for pupils.