‘Re-entry policy being abused’

Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Sydney Mushanga says the re-entry policy that allows school girls to return to school after maternity leave is being abused and corrective measures must be found.
Mr Mushanga, in an interview in Kabwe, said it is saddening that the re-entry policy is being abused despite efforts by Government to give an opportunity to the girl-child to return to school after falling pregnant.
He said although there are a lot of girls getting pregnant, Government will not abolish the well-intended re-entry policy because it gives girl-children the opportunity to cultivate a better future for themselves.
“Abusing the policy is very sad because girls should see this as a big opportunity to finish their education and become independent in life,” Mr Mushanga said.
He said there is need for Government and other stakeholders to come together and find a solution to the high prevalence of teen pregnancies and the associated drop-out of girls from school.
Mr Mushanga said there is also need to engage boys and girls in programmes aimed at attitude and behavioural change. He said scholars need to appreciate the importance of education to their lives.
“It is important if we do not just blame the policy and the girls; we need to look at the contributing factors for early pregnancies,” Mr Mushanga said.
Kabwe deputy mayor McDonald Mwamba had recently called for the abolishment of the policy given its alleged failure to improve the educational advancement of girls.
Mr Mwamba said Government should revisit the re-entry policy for girls, arguing that it has contributed to the increasing number of school drop-outs and child marriages in Zambia.
He further said the policy promotes immorality among children and causes more harm than good in society.

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