Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Technology Vincent Ghambi has blamed poor enforcement for the worrisome sight of children shunning classes in preference for fishing and other economic activities in Malawi.
Ghambi said this on Sunday in Likoma where he had a private meeting with district commissioner (DC) Charles Mwawembe who decried absenteeism in schools, saying most school-going children face a bleak future because they prefer fishing to learning.
Fishing might be the major source of livelihood on Chizumulu and Likoma islands, which have 10 primary schools and two secondary schools, but Ghambi said parents need to play a part in keeping children in class if they are to become productive citizens.
Said Ghambi: “The current Education Act guarantees compulsory education for all children, but the main problem is lack of enforcement. In the absence of enforcement, I would like to urge parents and community leaders to discourage their children from activities such as fishing or loitering the beach. Parents have the responsibility to ensure their children go to school and remain in class.”
Apart from truancy, other challenges schools on the islands face include shortage of qualified teachers, teaching and learning materials as well as purpose-built classrooms.
Ghambi pledged that government will strive to create an enabling environment to safeguard children from bad tendencies and guarantee access to quality education.