The statistics of young girls being impregnated and getting married due to closure of schools by the government in order to contain the spread of the Chinese originated Covid19 virus are alarming in the country. The situation, just like it has hit most if not all districts in the country, has also not spared Chikwawa Nkombedzi Constituency where at Makande primary school alone, six standard 7 and 8 girls were confirmed by school officials to have been impregnated.
Concerned with such reports, Deputy Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development who is also member of Parliament for Chikwawa—Nkombedzi Constituency, Abida Sidik Mia, over the weekend, donated school bags, each bag with a package of a Mathematical Instrument, calculator, exercise books, ruler, pens, a mask and a set of colored pencils to 450 primary school learners, which saw a lion’s share of these bags going to girls.
“It’s no longer a secret that some school going girls have been impregnated due to the closure of schools which came as one way of containing the spread of covid19.
“Now that State President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has directed that schools be re-opened in early September, I thought I should encourage and excite the remnants to focus on school and work hard with this small gesture of donating school bags,” she said.
Abida Mia told the girls to look no further but to herself as their role model.
“I am a member of Parliament, Deputy Minister and married to a fine gentleman, Sidik Mia. Please work hard and focus on your education because I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had chosen to abandon basic education and embrace the institution of marriage at an early age,” she said with the intention of not bragging but to inspire them to find a reason why they should seriously pursue their education.
The Deputy Minister then thanked the Muslim World League for helping her with the school bags.
“I appealed to Muslim World League for this help and I am happy that they responded positively and timely. I therefore hope that this gesture will boost the girls’ morale at school when they re-open,” she said.
The school bags donation was made at Makande model primary and Mchenga primary, by far the largest primary schools in the constituency. She promised to reach out to other schools with a similar or different initiative depending on available opportunities.
To crown it all, Abida Sidik Mia, also donated two thousands 10kg bags of maize flour to the elderly, this gesture also courtesy of Muslim World League.
Pressed if this was a sign that there is hunger in the constituency, Abida Mia was non-committal but said it’s not wrong to assist the elderly and those in need.
“The Chakwera administration will be distributing maize soon and will also open ADMARC selling points where 50 kg bag of maize will be sold at reasonable price,” she said when quizzed on the state of hunger preparedness in her constituency.