By Emily Kaliwo – Mana
CMinister of Gender, Social Welfare and Community Development, Patricia Kaliati says introduction of early education in rural areas will help prevent early pregnancies and marriages as children will appreciate education values while young.
Kaliati made the remarks on Friday at Malowa Community Based Childcare Centre (CBCC) in Traditional Authority Mpunga and Chisomo CBCC in Sub-Traditional Authority Maoni in Chiradzulu.
She visited the centres to inspect construction of childcare centers under Investing in Early Years Project (IEYP) implemented by Malawi Government with World Bank funds.
“Most children drop out of school because they feel shy when they consider their age against their class as some start primary education when they are nine years old as time goes they see themselves old enough to start marriages especially when they have young learners in their class and these hinders development,” the Minister said.
She added that introduction of CBCCs in most areas will ensure that children start and finish school at a good age provided parents and guardians enroll them in CBCCs to prepare them for primary education.
The Minister said with better education, gender based violence (GBV) could be eliminated as educated women empowered enough shield themselves against any form of GBV adding that education brings socio-economic empowerment among women.
Kaliati therefore appealed to men to stop defiling girls asking them to rather protect girls and give them enough opportunity to achieve their goals in life.
In her words, Traditional Authority Mpunga hailed government for deciding to construct a CBCC in her area saying child development is key to child education and further urged parents and guardians to enroll children into the care centers.
She added that the CBCCs offer both protection and education to little children for the good of the community.
Speaking earlier, one of the care givers at Malowa CBCC, Mwandida Dick said lack of learning materials, failure by parents to provide a “generous contribution”, high rate of absenteeism and lack of basic needs to keep most caregivers going are the major challenges most community level childcare centers face.
80 children mostly under the age of five were enrolled at Malowa CBCC of which 47 are girls and 33 are boys while at Chisomo CBCC enrolled 67 children compromising 37 girls and 30 boys.