YONECO brought together education stakeholders from 11 primary schools around Bumba Education Zone in order to deal with various challenges that are preventing children from enjoying their right to education in the area.
Among other key issues, the stakeholders discussed the plight of children who are seen loitering around Rumphi Boma instead of being in school, children from vulnerable households who are sent home for failure to pay school development fund and management of school development fund.
YONECO noted that needy children are increasingly dropping out of school because their parents cannot afford to pay school development fund. This was further described as one of the problems that are contributing towards increased cases of child labour and sexual exploitation of children.
After a thorough discussion, the meeting agreed to improve on management of School Development Fund with strict measures for enhancing transparency and accountability. Another landmark decision that was reached at is also on School Development Fund which the group agreed that it should be corrected during school holidays. The stakeholders stated that this will help to ensure that leaners are not sent out of class for failure to raise money for the fund.
“In order to evade burdening primary school leaners from paying examination fees, we have agreed that the Zone should buy computers and printers to internally produce examination papers,” explained Rumphi District Manager for YONECO, George Mbizi.
The meeting was attended by School Management Committee (SMC) chairpersons, Parent Teachers Association chairpersons, Head Teachers, district social welfare officers, a representative from Rumphi Civil Society Organizations Network, and an official from Rumphi District Education Office.