BUHERA and Nyanga districts have experienced an increase in the number of school dropouts recorded in Manicaland, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has said.
This was revealed during the recent Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy (ASRH) Forum second-quarter meeting.
Ms Tatenda Nengomasha, who was representing the Learner Welfare and Guidance and Counselling Department, said Buhera has 263 school dropouts, while Nyanga has 320 out of the 989 cases recorded in the province.
The upsurge in school dropouts has been attributed to child marriages, illegal gold mining activities in the affected areas and school fees challenges, among other contributing factors.
“There is urgent need to sensitise both the children and the communities where they come from about the importance of education so we retain a high number of pupils in schools. It is disheartening to note that some children of school-going age are actually getting involved in gold panning activities at the expense of attending classes,” said Ms Nengomasha.
She added that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will be rolling out outreach programmes with the aim of promoting inclusivity in schools and cater for children with disabilities.