AUTHORITIES in Rorya District are in advanced stage of introducing new measures as well as legal bylaws to address increasing cases of early childhood pregnancies that has caused 68 under-aged pupils to drop from school.
Making the recommendation here recently, the District Executive Director (DED), Charles Chacha told a full council meeting at Utegi Town that there are alarming figures released from the grassroots by local leaders towards the end of April this year, which must be seriously taken into consideration.
He said that collectively civic representatives, politicians as well as the clergy should help to address the problem in the society that can not be solved by an individual.
However, Mr Chacha said that the area Education Department is conducting an investigation on the issue, taking parents and guardians onboard to provide information about the girls, who are victims and those who are not completing their studies yet education is free.
Earlier, during a discussion of a similar meeting, the Councillors expressed concern that some students especially girls from various Primary and Ward Secondary Schools were dropping out of School in great numbers, further indicating the figure as 68 girls, especially this time when they are preparing to sit for their final Standard Seven and National Form Four exams.
The civic representatives, therefore, called for stern legal measures to be taken against local leaders in the affected villages, who are not reporting such cases.
According to the DED, the Council will in the near future set aside a special budget to fund a special programme to the public through the Education Departments in trainings at Wards, which are affected to educate pupils on dangers of early pregnancies.
“As part of a committed campaign to reduce teenage pregnancy, the council social experts will provide counseling, reproductive health information and Councillors are also required to report the statuses of areas especially on students’ pregnancies, early marriages and other related issues to the law enforcers and local government leadership in every quarter in order to ensure that the challenges are visible and addressed,” he directed.
He further said that girls at the grassroots levels have little or unreliable information on how to prevent early pregnancies, adding that according to the government’s directive, once they become pregnant, they would not be allowed to remain in School or resume schooling after giving birth.
“All education stakeholders here will be engaged in sustained dialogue with the concerned areas to pursue commitment to a district campaign to reduce teenage pregnancies and share evidence of the increasing number of students dropping out of school, due to pregnancy hinged on poverty vicious cycle,” Mr Chacha said.
On October 11th 2017 at the sidelines of the International Day of the Girl Child, Tanzania’s Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children directed that all Primary and Secondary Schools countrywide establish Help Desk to prevent early pregnancy in the community.