Rise in school dropouts riles First Lady

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Fun­gai Lu­pande Mash Cen­tral Bureau

FIRST Lady Aux­ilia Mnan­gagwa yes­ter­day ex­pressed con­cern over the high num­ber of school dropouts in Mashona­land Cen­tral, which is the high­est in the coun­try.

Some of the causes of school dropouts that were high­lighted were early mar­riages, drug and sub­stance abuse, lack of schools and gold pan­ning.

The First Lady, who held an in­ter­ac­tive ses­sion with pupils from Mashona­land Cen­tral’s seven dis­tricts at Chipadze High School, said she was aware of the is­sues that the pupils had to con­tend with.

“I know that ado­les­cents think that adults do not un­der­stand them and what they will be go­ing through. I know what it feels like to think that the world, es­pe­cially your par­ents, do not un­der­stand you. I was once a girl,” she said.

“If you are not care­ful at this age you risk los­ing ev­ery­thing and mess­ing up your future. This is an im­por­tant stage of your life, which shapes what you will be­come. You future de­pends on the de­ci­sions you make to­day.

“Teach­ings and ad­vice from your el­ders is im­por­tant and will get you through dif­fi­cult times. Re­spect ev­ery­one and your­self be­cause you come first in ev­ery­thing. De­sist from bul­ly­ing be­cause it causes oth­ers to lose in­ter­est in school, rob­bing the na­tion of future doc­tors and pi­lots.

“I am also wor­ried by the in­crease in the num­ber of street kids, which is an in­di­ca­tion of the break­ing down of fam­ily unity,” added the First Lady.

Turn­ing to the is­sue of child mar­riages, the First Lady said she was pained by the plight of the girl child.

“Th­ese are your chil­dren, men give them time to grow. With­out the girl child, we do not have a future. If you ed­u­cate a daugh­ter you ed­u­cate two fam­i­lies.”

She also ex­pressed con­cern over the in­crease in drug abuse in ru­ral ar­eas.

“You see an ado­les­cent drink­ing from dawn to dusk. All that time is wasted for noth­ing. You are killing your­self abus­ing cough mix­tures. When we were grow­ing up there were no such is­sues. How can you be­came a pi­lot or doc­tor when your start get­ting in­tox­i­cated now?” asked the First Lady.

“Ed­u­ca­tion gives you knowl­edge and wis­dom. It gives you a good per­spec­tive to look at life and wis­dom to work for your coun­try. Women need to get higher ed­u­ca­tion to en­able them to fight for their rights. You will also im­prove the lives of your fam­ily and Zimbabweans at large.”

She en­cour­aged them to work with po­lice of­fi­cers by act­ing as in­for­mants on drug and child abuse. Ju­nior Min­is­ter of State for Mashona­land Cen­tral Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs, Su­san Guni, thanked the First Lady for her wise coun­sel.

Mbire District was the only district that failed to at­tend the event.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.