Early marriages worry traditional leaders in Manyinga

A traditional leader in Manyinga District in North Western Province has implored his subjects and surrounding communities to desist from marrying off their girl children at the expense of educating them.

Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Manyinga today, Headman Kautingu in Senior Sikufele’s Chiefdom has further implored girl children who have dropped out of school due to early pregnancies to go back to school as permitted through the re-entry policy provided for by government through the ministry of education.

The traditional leader has further warned his subjects who are allowing their girl children to  drop out of school and those who are allowing school going children below the age of 21 to get married to stop the practice as it is both unlawful both in the Zambian and Customary Laws.

He said it has been observed that his village, in Chongo Ward, is one of the communities with highest numbers of teenage pregnancies, early marriages and teenage girls who have dropped out of school.

“I am sure you can see for yourself, these girls only value farming and marriages, not education, it’s really sad,” he said.

Meanwhile, District Education Board Secretary, Patrick Poho said there is need to step up sensitization activities involving his office through the Department of Guidance and Counseling together with the local authority and the traditional leadership.

“We have noticed this trend among our girl children, indeed there is great need for stakeholders’ involvement in this endeavor,” Mr Poho said.

Mr Poho noted that there is also a need for the realization of the importance of education among parents and guardians, a move which will encourage girl children to go back to school and ultimately make meaningful contributions to the development of their communities.