Solwezi District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), Fredrick Munkinyi, says 42 per cent of girls in the district drop out of school due to pregnancies.
Mr Munkinyi said 42 per cent of school girls in between grades five to nine drop out of school before they complete basic school while 21 per cent leave school for early marriages, and attributing this to cultural practices, negative attitude towards education and poor sanitation in most schools.
He said this in a report presented to the District Development Coordinating Committee (DDCC) held in Boma Conference Hall.
Mr Munkinyi said there was need to improve water and sanitation, sensitization of the value of education, and increase bursaries in primary and secondary education sectors.
Mr Munkinyi said the increase in pollution in the district has exerted pressure on education facilities resulting in crowded classrooms and inadequate staff accommodation, toilets, learning materials and teachers.
He said the enrolment rate has been constant on average for the past four years, saying the goal of 80 per cent rate of seven year olds who enter school for the first time was not achieved.
Mr Munkinyi attributed this to the increasing number of underage children in rural urban schools and over age children in rural schools.
He said there was need to ensure that children are enrolled at the right age in urban and rural schools and sensitize parents on enrolling their children at the right age both in urban and rural schools.
Mr Munkinyi observed that the teacher-pupil ratio has been increasing gradually since 2005, saying more pupils are coming to the district than the teachers the district was receiving, hence the need to construct additional classroom and staff houses for the teachers.