Turn school re-entry policy into law
Published On September 19, 2023 » 792 Views» By Times Reporter » Opinion
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A LOT has gone into ensuring that children are kept in school as well as ensuring that those that left, are brought back to complete their education.
Many stakeholders have pledged and support and in many instances have worked with the Government to ensure that this is made a reality.
However, the process has not been without challenges and many children still remain out of school.
With the threat of child marriage and teenage pregnancies constantly hanging over the children’s heads, it is a worry that many children still remain out of school.
Worse still is the failure by many of the young people that fall pregnant but fail to return to school upon delivery.
A combination of various reasons have kept some of these girls out of school but one of them has been the failure by some schools to implement the Government policy to allow the girl child back in school after delivery of their babies.
The re-entry policy was introduced by the Government as far back as 1997 to enable girls who get pregnant to take maternity leave and to return to school after giving birth.
However, it appears that not everyone in the education system has effectively implemented this policy and as such it has not yielded the desired results in that not all girls in this situation manage to get back into school.
It is little wonder then that the Forum for African Women Educationalists of Zambia (FAWEZA) has called on the Government to enact into law the re-entry policy to ensure that more girls benefit from the free education policy.
FAWEZA executive director Costern Kanchele explained that the enactment would compel all duty bearers to re-enter all the girls that seek to go back school after giving birth, especially those in grant aided schools which did not administer re-entry after pregnancy.
Turning the policy into law will ultimately guarantee that girls have a way back into school without hindrance.
This law if implemented should go side by side with massive sensitisation especially in the rural areas where early marriages and teen pregnancies are rife.
It is hoped that the government will consider this appeal by the civil society seriously and we have every confidence it will receive favourable attention.

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