“Dear parents, you have a very big role to play; a very big one, the role of mentoring these children from young age upto the time they are big and even then, when you see them doing wrong things, challenge them because you still have power, don’t underestimate your power!” -Archbishop Odama said
Archbishop Dr John Baptist Odama of Gulu
Archdiocese has urged parents to take seriously their parenting role during this festive
season saying many children are getting wasted in the presence of their parents.
Archbishop Odama said many parents have neglected their
responsibility of parenting, counting on other to look after their children something
that is leading to more street goons than holistic citizen.
“Dear parents, you have a very big role to play; a very big one, the role of mentoring these children from young age upto the time they are big and even then, when you see them doing wrong things, challenge them because you still have power, don’t underestimate your power!” says Archbishop Odama.
He said the rate of teenage pregnancy is worrying in
the society, adding that is proof for parental negligence paving way for indiscipline
to sink into children.
“During this Covid-19 lockdown alone, as the country we
registered over 17,000 pregnancies; just within 9 months and these are reported cases; how about
those ones that were not reported anyway but resolved with money exchanging
hands?” Archbishop Odama asked?
The archbishop also urged the cultural and religious leaders to
be the light in the community saying majority are shying away from speaking
against evils in the society, something that is making the society go from bad
“Teachers, religious and cultural leaders; God has
put us there so that we can guide people in the correct way and when we do that
we are guarding the population,” he said.
In March the government sent more than 15 million
children home from educational institutions in a bid to halt the speedy spread of coronavirus. However,
some students were able to attend virtual classes using phones and tablets
during the lockdown something that is believed to unintentionally have aided the derailing of many youngsters.
On Wednesday this week, Makerere University
released a mini survey report indicating that phones are spoiling girls and
aiding communication that translates into risky sexual behaviours contributing
to the high adolescent pregnancies in the country.
Several mini researches that came out during
the coronavirus lockdown show a worrying trend of teenage pregnancies with no
clear plans on how to tackle the problem.
During the dissemination of the “sexual and
reproductive health information and determinants of adolescent pregnancy, among
adolescents in Wakiso and Kamuli districts” on 17th December, the
lead investigators indicated that parents who had no or little time to speak to
their children about sexual and reproductive health issues risked their
adolescents engaging in unsafe sexual behaviour.