Speaking during the launch and site handover ceremony of a 28-room girls’ hostel, head-girl of the school, Egress Pindani said the development will assist in keeping girls in school.
“I am currently renting a room at K3, 500 per month because my parents stay at Kabwatika Village which is about 24 kilometers away from the school.
“But raising the K3, 500 and additional money for my upkeep is a challenge not only to my parents but for other parents whose children are in the same situation, so this project is a relief to us learners and our parents too,” said Pindani.
Pindani claimed that the accommodation challenge has been forcing girls out of school.
“Many girls have dropped out of school because their parents could not afford to sponsor them for self-boarding so they got tired of walking long distances every day to school,” said Pindani who aspires to become a nurse.
The headmaster of the school, Freeds Malata concurred with Pindani on how the distance and accommodation woes were affecting girls to attain education.
“We usually have a high enrolment of girls in form one but they drop out along the way. Currently, we have 297 learners and out of these only 140 are girls,” said Malata.
Member of Parliament for Chikwawa West, Susan Dossi said she was happy that finally girls at Chang’ambika CDSS will have safe accommodation within the school and can now concentrate on their studies without any worries.
“Now our girls will have no excuse to perform badly, it is my plea that when allocating the accommodation the school authorities should prioritize girls who are from the longest distances not those from closer villages,” said Dossi.
According to Unesco, globally primary and secondary school enrolment rates are getting closer to equal for girls and boys (90% male, 89% female). However, completion rates for girls are lower.
Chang’ambika girls hostel project which is aimed at improving girls’ performance and completion is funded by the World Bank through Governance to Enable Service Delivery-GESD, a performance-based grant through National Local Government Finance Committee.
The budget for the project is MK83,000,000 and is expected to be completed within 90 days.