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More boys dropping out of school in Matebeleland South

by Staff reporter
24 Jan 2024 at 04:49hrs | Views
MORE boys in Matebeleland South are dropping out of school compared to girls at both primary and lower secondary school levels, a Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) report has revealed.

According to the 2022 Populations and Housing Census results for Matebeleland South that were presented at a dissemination meeting held in Gwanda recently, the proportion of male children who were out of school is 29,2 percent at lower secondary level compared to 20,1 percent females.

At primary level, the proportion of children out of school for males was 9,3 percent compared to females with 7.7 percent.

Matebeleland South province, which is largely rural, continues to record high cases of school dropouts. Some of the causes include financial challenges, long distances to school, illegal mining activities, migration, teenage pregnancies, and loss of interest in school.

Presenting the report ZimStat demography and social statistics director, Mr Aluwisio Mukavhi, said 1,9 percent of households in the province were headed by children.

He said out of 361 257 children aged 0-17 years, 10,3 percent were orphans. The prevalence of orphan hood ranged from 5,7 percent in Beitbridge Urban to 12,9 percent in Bulilima.

"At primary level, the proportion of children out of school was higher for males with 9,3 percent when compared to females, with 7,7 percent. For lower secondary level, the proportion was higher for males with 29, 2 percent, compared to females with 20,1 percent. A total of 680 201 persons were aged four and above. Of these, 94,1 percent had attended school at some point, while 4,8 percent had never attended school at all," said Mr Mukavhi.

The census report showed that the bulk of the population which migrated is aged between 20 and 24 years.

A total of 143 044 people emigrated from Matebeleland South province, and 46 353 were aged between 20 and 24. From the province, 127 394 of the total number of emigrants were resident in South Africa and 13 278 in Botswana. For overseas countries, the United Kingdom had 969 emigrants.

The provincial disability prevalence was 2,2 percent with 14 750 out of a population of 760 345 being classified as having disability.

"Of the economically active population in the province, Insiza district had the highest proportion; 19 percent, followed by Gwanda rural district with 15 percent. The labour force participation rate was highest in the 35 to 39 age group (42,4 percent) and lowest in the 65+ age group. It was lower for females than males across all age groups

"The provincial unemployment rate was 19,8 percent. Unemployment was highest in Beitbridge rural district followed by Bulilima with 28,1 percent and Mangwe with 24,1 percent. Gwanda urban has the lowest unemployment rate 10 percent," said Mr Mukavhi.

The report revealed that 35,9 percent of households accessed drinking water from boreholes. About 24 percent of households accessed drinking water from non-improved sources such as unprotected wells/springs, rivers, dams and rainwater. Around 31,5 percent of households did not have any toilet facility. About 28,9 percent of the households were using ventilated improved pit latrines while 21,4 percent used the flush system.

In a speech read on her behalf by Matebeleland South director for economic affairs and development in the Office of the President of the Cabinet, Mr Richmond Ncube, Minister of State for Matebeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Dr Evelyn Ndlovu, said the population and housing census data is key in driving evidence-based decision making at the provincial level.

"Successful devolution planning hinges upon the comprehensive and accurate understanding of the socio-economic fabric for our province. Through exploring the population and housing census data we gain invaluable insight into the demographic makeup, housing conditions, education levels, and socio-economic indicators within our province.

"This data serves as a rich resource when it comes to planning and policy implementation in key areas such as health, infrastructure, education, and economic development. In-depth analysis of the census report will shed more light on the challenges and opportunities that lie within our province thereby enabling us to make informed decisions that can shape the development trajectory of our districts," she said.

Dr Ndlovu said the report will help the province to identify key sectors for growth and target interventions more effectively to foster economic development. She said it will also help in the successful implementation of the devolution agenda.

Dr Ndlovu urged districts to use the information to devise strategies that align with the needs that have been identified and monitor the effectiveness of interventions.

Source - The Chronicle