About 6,268 pupils in North Western Province have so far dropped out of school since the beginning of 2015 for various reasons including pregnancies and early marriages, says provincial education officer (PEO) Stephen Chishiko.
Mr Chishiko said the drop out ranged from Grade 1 to 12 and involved mostly girls who wither fell pregnant or opeted for early marriages
He lamented that the scourge of early marriage and teenage pregnancies that has ravaged the province thereby robbing the youth of education.
He explained that in January alone this year about 1,845 girls in the province dropped out of school due to pregnancies.
Mr. Chishiko said the continued high number of school dropouts was contributing to high levels of illiteracy in the province.
He feared the province may record an increase in dropouts before the end of the year due to various adverse factors he did not name.
He said Solwezi district recorded the highest number of dropouts in the province during the period under review whose figure stood at 2,384.
“Unfortunately we have continued to record dropouts from most schools in the province with Solwezi recording the highest figure,” he said
Mr. Chishiko said Solwezi was followed by Kasempa at 1,167 dropouts while Mwinilunga came third at 674 with Kabompo recording 457.
He said Mufumbwe recorded 446 dropouts while Manyinga had 352.
“Other districts such as Zambezi had 336 while Ikelenge and Chavuma recording the lowest at 198.
The PEO has called on all stakeholders to take an active part in promoting education in the province.