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Early marriages and teenage pregnancies still persistent on the Copperbelt

The government says early marriages and teenage pregnancies among girls are still persistent on the Copperbelt province.

Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Augustine Kasongo says a girl child should not feel ashamed to return to school after giving birth as education is the best equalizer.

Mr Kasongo when the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Science and Technology paid a courtesy at his office.

Meanwhile, the committee Sibongile Mwamba who is also Kasama Central Member of Parliament said the committee was on the Copperbelt to evaluate the progress made with the implementation of the re-entry policy of the girl child and the challenges faced, if any.

Meanwhile, Provincial Education Officer Allen Kaoma said stakeholders who have benefited from the re-Entry policy from Nkana and Chibuluma communities are waiting to interact with the parliamentary committee members.

Dr. Kaoma said urban communities positively responded to this policy whilst those in rural districts were lagging behind saying there is need for sensitization if the girl child in rural areas is to benefit from this policy.

According to the Zambia Agency for Statistics, approximately 30 percent of the Zambian female population begins childbearing by the age of 19, and secondary school enrollment and graduation rates are consistently lower for female than for male learners.

It is government’s declared goal to increase the numbers of girls who complete secondary education because of the well-established benefits of girls’ education nationally.