The Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (ECOZI) says there is need for attitude change in society to ensure girls enjoy their rights as enshrined in the country’s Constitution.
By Adelaide Kuudzerema
Speaking at a meeting to discuss strategies to educate rural communities on the importance of girl’s education last week, ECOZI programme assistant Wadzanayi Chitiga said efforts are being made to reach out to community leaders, churches and other stakeholders.
“We are trying to go into communities and speak to parents, community leaders and school leaders to change their attitude and their mentality has to change, there are policies and legislation that allow the girl child to proceed with school even if she is pregnant but the community is not accepting it,” Chitiga said.
She added that, Zimbabwe’s Education Amendment Act 2019 allows pregnant girls to stay in school and bans school authorities from expelling them.
Farming Community Educational Trust (FACET) project coordinator Respect Tsvanhu said girls in farming and rural communities in Zimbabwe are still victims of gender inequality with only 9-10 percent of them are proceeding to secondary schools.
“This survey was conducted in Mazowe District and in most cases most parents said they cannot let their children interact with a young mother at school because they will be influenced badly, this shows that these policies are only practical on paper and not known out there,” said Tsvanhu.
He called on the government to increase the national budget allocation for the education sector to 20 percent, in order to improve access to education for all.
Over 20 local civil society organisations convened in Harare last week to discuss strategies to promote the education of girls.
In April, UNICEF released a report stating that government only spent 13, 1% of the national budget on education in 2021 despite the Dakar Framework for Action stipulating that African governments must allocate 20% of the national budget towards education.