By Moise Thom
Government of Netherlands has pledged commitment to assist Malawi end child marriages and early pregnancies, reasons reportedly contributing highly to school drop outs.
Netherlands Minister of foreign affairs Mieke Vogels made the commitment after witnessing the effectiveness of the interventions which civil society organisations under Alliance Malawi are implementing in Machinga and Mangochi districts, where the malpractices are eportedly rampant.
She said:- “I have heard from the communities and relevant authorities on a positive change in girl retention and reduced dropout, indicating that the Yes I do project is bearing good fruits.”
Vogels said her government will do anything possible to ensure that early marriages and teenage pregnancies no longer exist.
Testifying to this magnitude of problem, primary school advisor for Namandanje education zone in Machinga Rose Makina gave one example Kachere primary school, where no female student sat for primary school leaving certificate examinations (PSLCE) in 2016.
“All girls dropped out of school in a class that sat for 2016 Malawi (PSLCE) due to pregnancies or early marriages, which was pathetic,” said Makina.
Plan Malawi and other four organisations are implementing Yes I do programme in Machinga district as one way of addressing the problem.
Plan Malawi Yes I do project coordinator Joseph Maere said:- “in Kachere education zone for example, we have already assisted to bring back 16 teenage mothers to school, and 6 girls have sat for 2017 PSLCE, unlike last year whereby no girl made it for these examinations at Kachere school.”
Government of Netherlands through organisations under Alliance Netherlands fund fund organisations called Malawi alliance, to implement Yes I do programme aimed at combating early marriages and teenage pregnancies