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File photo / President Filipe Nyusi
The Mozambican government is working to correct the imbalance of the distribution of schools in the southern province of Gaza to enable pupils to access education without having to move away from their homes.
At a rally in the town of Nhancutse, in the recently created district of Chongoene, President Filipe Nyusi revealed plans to build a new secondary school to meet local needs. President Nyusi announced that the school would be built in 2019 and that the government is also considering the possibility of developing a long-distance learning school which would not only expand the access to education, but also diversify what is available to students in Nhancutse.
The President remarked that currently there are areas with large populations but few schools, whilst in other areas with low populations there are a good number of schools. He explained that this is the imbalance that the government is trying to address.
The President was responding to the concerns raised by local residents. According to Julieta Mucavele, “when our children have finished their primary education, they are obliged to leave their parents and go to Chibuto to continue their studies”.
She argued that this situation exposes children to the dangers of pregnancy and premature marriages.
The problem of premature marriages is one of the greatest challenges facing the government. According to the 2011 Demographic and Health Survey (IDS), a shocking 14 per cent of women between the age of 20 and 24 were married before they reached the age of 15, and 48 per cent married before their 18th birthday.
In terms of geographic distribution, the central and northern regions of the country were the most affected by this phenomenon, with the highest figures coming from the provinces of Manica, Tete, Zambezia, Nampula, and Cabo Delgado.
These statistics show that Mozambique has the 11th highest rate of child marriages in Africa. Child marriages lead to pregnancy at an early age, with all the risks this entails for the life and health of the mother and her baby.Source: AIM
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