MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT is dismayed with reports of teenage girls allegedly getting married to Chinese contractors working on roads in Shiwangâ€™andu in Muchinga Province.
Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education chief education standards officer Vengi Sinda said Shiwangâ€™andu has been reporting cases of absenteeism by girls who have opted to get married at the expense of their education.
Mr Sinda was speaking at the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) 13th annual general meeting in Lusaka recently.
He said much as Government appreciates the construction works, it is depriving girls the right to education as men are sleeping around with them.
Mr Sinda said children as young as grade three are getting pregnant and entering into marriage; an unfortunate situation for national development.
He has since called on civil society organisations advocating for rights to education for children to supplement Government effort in ending early and child marriages in the area.
And Shiwangâ€™andu district education board secretary Annie Mutambo said government will convene a meeting tomorrow with various stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the problem.
Ms Mutambo said lack of information has largely contributed to the soaring cases of early and child marriages in the area.
Meanwhile, CAMFED chairperson Esther Banda says girlâ€™s education especially in rural areas has continued to face enormous challenges as they still lag behind in most areas like progression and achievement levels.
Reverend Banda however, thanked Government for increasing the budgetary allocation to the education sector in the 2015 national budget.
And Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education permanent secretary Chishimba Nkosha said Government appreciates efforts by various stakeholders in improving the education sector especially for girls.
He has however implored CAMFED to extend its services to more provinces countrywide to allow more children to benefit.
MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka