227 girls have dropped out of school at Saint Joseph Primary school in the area of Traditional Authority Namabvi in Mangochi district in the past two terms, YFM has established.
Since 2017, the school has registered 381 drop-outs and out of these only 20 girls have managed to go back to school after being convinced to abandon their marriages.
Deputy Head teacher for the school, Akidu Binoni said most girls are being persuaded into marriages by boys who go to South Africa for greener pastures while some are forced to drop-out due to poverty.
Binoni said: “Namalaka is one of the villages where most boys shun away from school and instead they flock to work in South Africa and when they return home they bring items such as cars, smart phones and luxurious home items.
“Most girls, including those who are school goers are tempted by such luxurious items and as a result they are easily coaxed by these boys, a development which drives them to drop out of school and end up into early marriages.”
He further said poverty among the families from the village has also fueled the malpractices saying most parents are failing to provide their daughters with dairy necessities a development which leads the girls shunning away from school.
The recent abandonment of school feeding program at the school has also been another factor which has mainly affected the lower classes.
Since 2017 the school has registered 381 girls drop-out and out of these only 20 have managed to come back to school after being convinced to abandoned their marriages.
The dropout rate this year has been worse ever since 2009.
108 girls dropped out of school in 2016 and the number dropped to 61 in 2017. In 2018 the number reached 93 while 2019 has registered 227 dropped outs.
The school’s pupil enrollment was at 2678 in 2019 for both girls and boys.