32pc of ru­ral pupils drop out of school

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqo­bile Tshili Chron­i­cle Cor­re­spon­dent

ABOUT 32 per­cent of chil­dren in the coun­try’s ru­ral prov­inces have dropped out of school due to their par­ents’ fail­ure to pay school fees, a study has re­vealed.

The Zim­babwe Vul­ner­a­bil­ity As­sess­ment Com­mit­tee (Zim­vac) 2016 Ru­ral Liveli­hoods As­sess­ment re­port re­leased re­cently shows that al­though 32 per­cent of pupils dropped out of school due to fi­nan­cial con­straints, there was an in­crease in the num­ber of chil­dren in school com­pared to 2015.

The school at­ten­dance in­creased to 85 per­cent from 76 per­cent in the pre­vi­ous year.

A to­tal of 15 per­cent were recorded to be out of school in 2016 com­pared to 24 per­cent in 2015.

Some of the rea­sons cited for fail­ure by chil­dren to go to school in­clude long dis­tances, dis­abil­ity, preg­nancy or mar­riage while oth­ers were not in­ter­ested in go­ing to school.

“About 32 per­cent of the chil­dren were not in school due to fi­nan­cial con­straints fol­lowed by 24 per­cent who were con­sid­ered to be too young. Dis­abil­ity was among the rea­sons with the low­est fre­quency,” reads the re­port.

The study re­vealed that five per­cent of the chil­dren were said to be out of school due to ill­ness while one per­cent was not at­tend­ing school due to dis­abil­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, four per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion is said to have dropped out of school due to long dis­tances while an ad­di­tional three per­cent was said to be un­in­ter­ested in ed­u­ca­tion.

The re­port has also cited hunger as one of the rea­sons lead­ing to chil­dren drop­ping out of school.

Re­cently, the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion re­vealed that 31 per­cent of pupils in Mata­bele­land South were com­plet­ing Grade Seven but not pro­ceed­ing to Form One.

The Provin­cial Ed­u­ca­tion Di­rec­tor, Mrs Tu­misang Tha­bela, cited long dis­tances to schools, fail­ure to pay school fees, teenage preg­nan­cies among other rea­sons.

She said in 2015 the prov­ince had 20 342 Grade Seven pupils and only 12 776 man­aged to en­rol for Form One.

Mrs Tha­bela said a study needs to be con­ducted to as­cer­tain where the pop­u­la­tion of drop outs goes to af­ter com­plet­ing Grade Seven. — @nqot­shili

Mrs Tu­misang Tha­bela

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