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'Mnangagwa's govt letting Matebeleland down'

by Staff reporter
26 May 2024 at 13:49hrs | Views
Matebeleland South Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa has criticized the government for its failure to adequately build schools in the region, attributing this oversight to the rise in teenage pregnancies and child marriages.

Mlotshwa noted that girls in the region often drop out of school due to the limited number of educational institutions, which are often located several kilometers away. Citing data from the World Bank, she highlighted that a significant portion of girls in Zimbabwe are married or pregnant before the age of 18, resulting in school dropout rates and exposure to abuse.

During a recent Senate debate, Mlotshwa emphasized the urgent need to address the issue, warning that neglecting to do so would perpetuate poverty and marginalization among girls in Matebeleland South.

She pointed out that the region has a history of gender-based violence and early pregnancies due to the lack of school access, a reality she has personally witnessed as a representative of Matebeleland South.

Highlighting the challenges faced by rural children in accessing education, Mlotshwa stressed the importance of addressing societal and cultural norms that hinder girls' education.

She urged the government to provide comprehensive support services for teenage mothers, including healthcare, counseling, and financial assistance. Additionally, Mlotshwa called for schools to be equipped with the necessary resources to support pregnant students, emphasizing the crucial role of education in securing the future of girls and mothers.

Critics have accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government of perpetuating the marginalization of Matebeleland, particularly through delays in implementing the devolution policy aimed at local resource utilization for development.

Source - online