By Lusayo Kanyika
Children in the country have come out in the open to express worry over some of the challenges that impede their future.
Timveni has found out that bullying is one of the most overlooked dilemmas that the girl child faces especially in Primary Schools across the country.
But is Government aware of these challenges? if yes, what interventions have been put in place to safeguard the future of the girl child.
One of the most famous American Presidents, John F Kennedy, once said “a child miseducated is a child lost.”
It has also been universally agreed that children are the future and education is the gateway to nurturing these future leaders expected to turn around the fortunes of impoverished third world countries including MALAWI.
While African countries were commemorating the International Day of the African Child on 16th June, Timveni went a step further to hear from the children themselves about what they experience in their quest to fulfill their potential through education.
The average primary school learner in rural areas, especially the girl child, has to surmount a lot of hindrances that create a harsh environment for learning.
These girls suffer in silence.
Brilliant in mind, innocent at heart, the children bring out their issues in the open through random interviews in Lilongwe North Constituency.
But, do these kids get first hand help right at school?
Deputy Head Teacher at Kabuthu Primary School in Lilongwe, Matthews Saineti says some interventions have assisted in ending cultural practices that led to school drop outs and early marriages in Lilongwe North.
This resonates well with this year’s theme for the International Day of the African Child: Eliminating Harmful practices hindering children.
Children’s plight was also the centre of focus during the commemoration of the International Day of the African Child on Saturday, 18th June, 2022 at Kabuthu Primary School.
The event was organized by Girls Activist Youth Organization, GAYO, in partnership with OSSEDI.
Guest of Honour at the event, Deputy Minister of Education Monica Ching’anamuno, was quizzed on government’s efforts in eliminating harmful practices that force a lot of children to quit their studies prematurely.
The statistics are abysmal! Only 27 percent of Secondary Students and 58 percent of primary school learners in MALAWI complete their studies.
Ching’anamuno affirms that government is committed to protecting the girl child from abuse IN SCHOOL.
On his part, GAYO Executive Director Richard Batchi, says stakeholders involved in the promotion of children’s rights have serious reservations with Government’s failure to fulfill SADC protocols of allocating 20 percent of the national budget cake towards education.
But, Ching’anamuno says government is working on the issue including infrastructural development in the education sector.
Plan International Malawi, through Break Free Program Manager Joseph Maere, concurs with government that role models are key to empowering the girl child.
The picture is crystal clear! If Malawi’s aspirations for achieving middle income economic status by 2063 are not to end up being dumped in the boulevard of broken dreams just as it was with Vision 2020, everybody has a role to play in nurturing the future leaders.