To overcome this challenge, I initiated a voluntary role modelling scheme that involves a team I have assembled of well-educated individuals. We visit primary schools offering motivational talks. We share our stories of persevering through our education up to tertiary level and how we overcame our challenges. Top pupils in each class are awarded stationery and money to motivate them and their peers to work hard and be part of the programme.
- We formed career aspiration clubs in the eight primary schools we visit. Pupils discuss their daily challenges that can lead to school dropout and help each other to overcome these. A teacher is selected to be a patron of the club.
- Girls are encouraged to work hard and gain more confidence. They are able to compete with boys after learning that boys and girls are the same. It was reported that three girls went back to school at Chudzu Primary School in Dowa after they dropped out due to early pregnancies.
- One boy told his teacher that he was encouraged to repeat Standard 8 after being encouraged by one of the role models to do that.