By Romio Takundwa
Rushinga district is currently witnessing a swelling number of school dropouts due to pregnancies and a discouraging learner environment, Bustop TV has learnt.
Rushinga is one of the seven districts in Mashonaland Central province which is considered the least developed in terms of school infrastructure.
A recent media tour organized by the National AIDS Council (NAC) revealed that there is high prevalence rate of school dropouts owing to poor sex education especially among girl pupils who often fall pregnant.
Speaking to journalists during the media tour, NAC district coordinator for Rushinga, Eric Taramusi said that a high number of these dropouts were recorded during the lockdown.
“For the first term, we had 179 school drops and 53% of those school dropouts were girls and most of the drops from the girls were due to pregnancies or marriages during the lockdown.
“Kids were not going to school and they ended up being married as they spent most of their time within the community,”he said.
This past week, Rushinga Constituency Member of Parliament (ZANU PF) Tendai Nyabani cited vacant rural teaching posts as a cause for school dropouts and poor pass rate in his constituency.
Raising a motion in parliament on deployment of teachers, Nyabani stressed that the Labor and social welfare ministry together with that of primary and secondary education should work together to fill in the vacant posts.
He also added that children in rural areas and those in urban areas should be taught the same so as to ensure equality.
“In rural areas, the working conditions for teachers are deplorable. When a teacher is deployed to the rural areas, he thinks of transferring to the urban areas. It has been noted that schools in the rural areas have no teachers at all and that is why l am raising this motion”, said Nyabani.
Many factors have been attributed towards secondary school dropouts, particularly in rural areas in Zimbabwe. The major ones that have been noted are financial constraints, long distance to and from school, low level of education for parents and behavior of the learners.