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Villagers Lament High School Drop Out Rate

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Villagers say even primary school pupils are dropping out Villagers say even primary school pupils are dropping out

By Own Correspondent

Umzingwane, June 24, 2016 – VILLAGERS in Umzingwane have lamented the high rate of school drop outs in the poor Matabeleland South area, a situation which has often seen youths cross into the neighbouring South Africa in search of menial jobs.

This came out during a Communities-in-Action-Campaign road show currently being undertaken by good governance lobby, Election Resource Centre at Emkhutshwa Business Centre in Umzingwane’s Ward 6 recently.

One Anita Ndlovu, a villager from the area, bemoaned the fact that youths in the area were failing to appreciate the value of education, adding this was fuelling the drop outs.

“We need to advise the youths to go to school. Education is very important for us as youths,” she said.

“Youths, especially here in Matabeleland don’t think education is very important for them. They think about crossing into South Africa,” Ndlovu said.

A local youth, Nothando Mlambo blamed the high dropout rate to how locals were socialising their offspring.

“There is a problem in this area; children from this side are not valuing education,” Mlambo said.

Matabeleland is the country’s cattle ranching hub, something that has seen villagers keep herds for their economic value.

Because of that, most youths who skip formal education long to own cattle which they consider to be a symbol of wealth.

Mlambo also blamed the high rate of school dropouts to the province’s proximity to Zimbabwe’s rich neighbour, South Africa where most dropouts have returned to their homes with assets.

Mlambo added: “So many people are saying since there are no jobs guaranteed even when they proceed to finish their Ordinary level, they could I will go to South Africa.

The community based campaign spearheaded by ERC was initiated after the group had realised that there was no communication formal or otherwise between citizens and their local leaders.

The programme seeks to increase and strengthen the organised and active involvement of citizens on local governance issues.

Councillor Stanley Mahlangu of Ward 25 in Silobela district, who also attended the meeting under also said school drop outs was not only limited to secondary school pupils but was also being experienced among primary school children.

Ward 6 councillor, Amanda Khumalo said the situation remained unfavourable even for those who chose to remain in classrooms as schools were poorly equipped to match the performance of other provinces.

“Our schools do not have science laboratories; hence children that come out of these schools do not qualify to go to national universities,” Khumalo said.

We want our youth to be educated on civic life, a life of engagement, to be up to date with current issues, and able to provide knowledge to the next generation especially on local governance,” Khumalo said.

ERC Outreach and Training Officer, Solomon Bobosibunu said youths must be educated to have a healthier community that is able to hold their leaders accountable.

“Education is a strong building block to building a stronger and healthier community that is able to hold their leaders accountable and are able to articulate issues that leaders should address thus education should be focused on civic life not only academics,” Bobosibunu said.

The baseline survey that was done by the ERC indicated that citizens are not empowered to speak and sometimes do not know what their rights are.

Much of the work of the Communities-in-Action-campaign focuses on helping citizens engage local leaders on substantive issues of community action.

Because of that, most youths who skip formal education long to own cattle which they consider to be a symbol of wealth.

Mlambo also blamed the high rate of school dropouts to the province’s proximity to Zimbabwe’s rich neighbour, South Africa where most dropouts have returned to their homes with assets.

Mlambo added: “So many people are saying since there are no jobs guaranteed even when they proceed to finish their Ordinary level, they could I will go to South Africa.

The community based campaign spearheaded by ERC was initiated after the group had realised that there was no communication formal or otherwise between citizens and their local leaders.

The programme seeks to increase and strengthen the organised and active involvement of citizens on local governance issues.

Councillor Stanley Mahlangu of Ward 25 in Silobela district, who also attended the meeting under also said school drop outs was not only limited to secondary school pupils but was also being experienced among primary school children.

Ward 6 councillor, Amanda Khumalo said teh situation remained unfavourable even for those who chose to remain in classrooms as schools were poorly equipped to match the performance of other provinces.

“Our schools do not have science laboratories; hence children that come out of these schools do not qualify to go to national universities,” Khumalo said.

We want our youth to be educated on civic life, a life of engagement, to be up to date with current issues, and able to provide knowledge to the next generation especially on local governance,” Khumalo said.

ERC Outreach and Training Officer, Solomon Bobosibunu said youths must be educated to have a healthier community that is able to hold their leaders accountable.

“Education is a strong building block to building a stronger and healthier community that is able to hold their leaders accountable and are able to articulate issues that leaders should address thus education should be focused on civic life not only academics,” Bobosibunu said.

The baseline survey that was done by the ERC indicated that citizens are not empowered to speak and sometimes do not know what their rights are.

Much of the work of the Communities-in-Action-campaign focuses on helping citizens engage local leaders on substantive issues of community action.

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