More than 900 pupils both at Primary and secondary levels have dropped out of school in Milenge district, Luapula province.
This has shocked the district administration who said the situation is alarming and that they are doing everything possible to address the state of affairs.
Milenge District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), Denis Mukunta, has disclosed to ZANIS that the long closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the contributing factors, as some learners never returned when schools re-opened.
Mr Mukunta stressed that some parents are still holding onto their children as they are not sure whether they should allow them to go back to school amid the outbreak of the coronavirus.
“A total of 462 girls dropped out of the 51 primary schools, while 456 boys followed suit. At secondary school level, 63 girls and 57 boys equally dropped out and this was the 2020 academic year,” he explained.
Mr Kakunta has, however, stated that 2, 846 learners in Milenge district have been enrolled into grade one.
He added that the number is expected to go up following the introduction of Early Childhood Education classes in all the schools across the district.
Meanwhile, Mapula Secondary School Parents Teachers Committee Chairperson, Songwe Yankonde said the committee has embarked on a sensitisation programme aimed at encouraging parents to take their children to school.
Mr Yankonde noted that some members of the community do not attach value to education hence they need continued sensitisation for them to change their attitude.
“We are calling on parents to take advantage of the education opportunities the government has provided and take their children to school. We are also telling them to take back their girls who dropped out after falling pregnant. We are trying to change their mindset and we hope they will comply,” he said.