A Ndola based organisation called Mwana Mfumu Foundation has under its Turning Pages- Advancing Girls Education and Leadership” project re-integrated 100 teenage mothers who dropped out of school due to pregnancy on the Copperbelt province.
The teenagers who are from Kitwe, Ndola and Mpongwe districts have been given the opportunity to return to school by the Foundation.
ZANIS reports that the Organisation Founder Kayula Chisanga says the programme will also target rural areas where there are higher cases of school drop outs due to pregnancy.
“ Despite having the free education and the 1997 school re-entry policies, there are other factors that prevent the young mothers to go back to school after delivery, hence coming in to bridge up the gap, “Ms. Chisanga said.
She said this during the launch of the “Turning Pages- Advancing Girls Education and Leadership project in Ndola which is being funded by the US embassy through the Zambia- United States Exchange Alumini Association ( ZUEA) .
And ZUEA president, Moses Mwansa said his association is ready to complement government’s efforts of improving the welfare of citizens through such programmes.
Speaking at the same function, Copperbelt Provincial Education Officer, Stephen Chishiko through Senior Education Standards Officer, Suwilangi Silwamba said less than of those that fell pregnant go back to school after delivery.
Dr. Silwamba said there is need for stakeholder collaboration in encouraging teenage mothers to go back to school adding that government has done its part by making education free.
Provincial Social Welfare Officer, Cris Hilwele said there is need to directly involve communities if such programmes are to be successful.
Meanwhile, the new dawn administration says it has put in place strategies to increase girls and boys education in the country among them being the re-entry policy and free education .
The two policies have allowed the disadvantaged girl child to return to school after delivery to continue learning while free education has increased accessibility to education by all.
This move has hailed Sinazongwe Secondary School Teachers and pupils.
School Head teacher Jimmy Siamupa says the Re-entry policy and free education has seen an increase in the pupils population at the School from 650 to 823.
Mr. Siamupa acknowledges that the recent teacher recruitment has cushioned the teacher pupil ratio as seven were deployed to the school.
He says the Government has also increased the grants which are being received on time to uphold quality education standards.
And Kalaluka Ndopu ,a guidance teacher at the school says the government policies on education has increased the number of learners coming to school.
He has said there is still need to safeguard the girl child from possible abuse by building safehouse for them.