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18% of P7 Girls in One Butaleja School Married Off During Lockdown :: Uganda Radionetwork
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18% of P7 Girls in One Butaleja School Married Off During Lockdown

According to the head teacher of the school, Paul Francis Mugoya, before closure of schools in March by the President, he had 28 girls and 28 boys in P.7 but only 23 girls have since reported back to school with 5 of them missing. They have received reports from the community that the other P.7 learners that the five girls have since been married off after they were made pregnant. But the headteacher is grumbling because the girls' parents have remained silent about their daughters' fate.
Learners of Lubanga Primary School in Butaleja (2)

Audio 4



Lubanga Government Primary School in Maizimasa Sub County in Butaleja District has re-opened after the Covid-19 Lockdown, but without 18% of the P7 female candidates.

They got married.

 

According to the head teacher of the school, Paul Francis Mugoya, before closure of schools in March by the President, he had 28 girls and 28 boys in P.7 but only 23 girls have since reported back to school with 5 of them missing. They have received reports from the community that the other P.7 learners that the five girls have since been married off after they were impregnated< But the headteacher is grumbling because the girls' parents have remained silent about their daughters' fate. 

Mugoya said the oldest of the girls is 15 while the youngest is 12 years old.

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He said that although the ministry of health asked schools to allow  pregnant girls back to school and sit for exams, the possibility of these learners returning to school is minimal because they will fear to mingle with their peers.

“These girls will be faced with challenges of returning to school like fear of being ridiculed, discriminated against, shyness, low self-esteem, fear of being frowned upon and being labeled as young mothers,” he says.

Paul Massette, the Chairperson of the School Management Committee said the pregnancies among their learners result from their prolonged stay at home with parents who don’t care about the safety of their children.

He said that the high poverty levels in the district had exposed the young girls to teenage marriages since parents tend to exchange their children for wealth.

//cue in: “He has asked those…

Cue out:…already pregnant”//

Reverend Father Bernard Ocheing, the Parish Priest of Kachonga Catholic Parish the founder body of Lubanga Primary School said that the issue of pregnancy among the learners has come as surprise to the church.

//cue in: “In as far as this…

Cue out:…are still missing”//

Lawrence Peterson Museguyi, a teacher in the school told our reporter that what is going in Butaleja district in terms of teenage pregnancy is appalling and leaves a big knowledge gap between the boys and the girls.

He attributed the challenge to parents who he said are still very ignorant about educating a girl child and that they have failed to emulate educated eminent people who hail from Butaleja who would be role models to their children.

//cue in: “Its very appalling…

Cue out:…for marriage”//

Esther Adeke, the Inspector of Schools in Butaleja district says that the number of learners impregnated in the district is expected to be quite high although they are yet to finalize with the survey to get the actual numbers.

“A big number of learners have not yet returned to school, but we are still carrying out an inspection to find out why and if we finish we shall give you our findings,” she told our reporter in a phone interview.

Richard Waya, the Butaleja District LCV Chairperson says that the problem of high teenage pregnancies in the district is a result of high fertility rate among the girls in the district adding that the parents in the district are caught up in the old traditions that every girl who gets pregnant gets married which is the trend in Butaleja district.



 

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