By Aaron Banda -Mana.
Police in Mchinji have launched an initiative dubbed ‘One School One Police officer’ in an effort to address issues of child rights violations which are said to be on the increase in the district due to Covid-19.
During the launch of the initiative on Thursday, Officer in Charge for Mchinji Police, Owen Maganga said he noted with concern that due to school closure, a number of primary school girls have been impregnated and gotten married and that many young boys have been involved in criminal offences.
Maganga said the ‘One School, One Police officer initiative’ will see police officers interacting directly with school committees, parents and learners in addressing issues of child rights violations.
“The district is registering quite a number of child rights violation cases. The problem is that most of the parents are ignorant of Children and Young Person Act, so my office will deploy police officers in all primary schools across the district, so that we help to civic educate communities about this Act,” he said.
He said for a start four primary schools around Mchinji Boma will be targeted before reaching out to all primary schools in the district.
Speaking during the launch of the initiative, District Education Manager for Mchinji, Nellie Kamtedza hailed the initiative, saying that would help to address some of the challenges children are facing across the district.
Kamtedza said recently her office conducted a min survey which showed that some parents are forcing their children to get married and that some children are being denied having access to education through the radios by sending them to work in farms.
“There are a lot of negative effects on the ground which have come due to covid-19, because children are home since schools are closed, most of the parents are sending their children to sell agricultural commodities like tomatoes and onions.
If you go around the boma you will see children roaming around, yet their fellows are accessing education through the radios,” she said.
During the meeting it was noted that due to school closure, the percentage of child marriages in the district has gone high.
In an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the country, Ministry of Education directed that all schools remain closed a development some quarters say has brought a lot of negative impacts to school going children.