Lilongwe West chief education officer Joyce Hamsini has encouraged girls and children with disabilities to work hard in school to become productive citizens.
She said this on Saturday during an open day for girls’ education at Njewa Primary School in Lilongwe.
Hamsini also said role modelling and mentorship will motivate girls and children with disabilities to remain in school.
“I urge parents and local leaders to ensure girls and children with disabilities are not left out of education. I also ask traditional leaders to protect girls from abuse for them to continue with education,” she said.
Ministry of Education spokesperson Chikondi Chimala said some girls drop out of school due to challenges they face at home, in their community and at school.
“That is why with funding from Unicef, the ministry is implementing a Learning Never Stops Project to encourage girls to complete their education.
“Through parading of role models, the girls will be motivated to remain in school.”
Chimala said the ministry has policies to ensure that children complete their education.
“We want to address stereotypes and misconceptions, especially on teen mothers. Therefore, we conduct open day events during school holidays to encourage parents and local leaders to protectgirls from abuse,” he said.
One of the role models, a trained journalist and primary school teacher Yankho Cheyo encouraged girls to be resilient and focused to achieve their goals.
She said teen pregnancies and child-bearing should not stop them from continuing with their education.
Cheyo shared her own experience that she became pregnant at 16, but still went back to school.
The event, which attracted learners from 10 primary schools, included role modelling sessions, music performances, a netball match as well as drama performances.
The participating schools received balls, notebooks and other education materials.