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Attorney General Approves Kotido Education Ordinance

According to the ordinance, local leaders are supposed to mobilize children of school going age to attend school. They are also required to ensure that children within their areas are not subjected to paid labour or any income generating activities during school hours.
Pupils of Kasimeri Primary School in Moroto District interacting with their head teacher, Okello Abedism class.

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The Attorney General has approved the Kotido District Education Ordinance, which seeks to boost enrollment and retention of children in primary schools.

Like the rest of the districts in Karamoja, Kotido has majority of school age going children at home. Records from Uganda Bureau of Statistics, UBOS 2016 indicate that 89.1 percent of children aged 6-9 years and another 82.1 percent of those aged 10-19 years are not in school. 

Most of the children especially girls are engaged in domestic chores like collecting firewood, fetching water and other activities for survival, while the boys spend most of their time in kraals and grazing land, looking after cattle.

The District Education Officer Kotido, Angello Lowari, says that publication of the ordinance in the district is underway. He says that the district is printing the document to enable stakeholder's access and sensitize the community across the district.

According to the ordinance, local leaders are supposed to mobilize children of school going age to attend school. They are also required to ensure that children within their areas are not subjected to paid labour or any income generating activities during school hours.

It also spells out the responsibilities of children which include among others attending school, observing discipline and respecting parents, teachers and adults. It further says a child who contravenes the provisions of the ordinance commits an offence and will be liable to disciplinary action.

The ordinance also prohibits absenteeism of pupils from school without reasonable cause or permission from a teacher; and in part, spells that any person who contravenes any provision of the ordinance, shall on conviction, where no penalty is provided, be liable, to pay a fine not exceeding 60, 000 shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.

According to Lowari, once the ordinance comes into force, it will help to mobilize children to school and empower stakeholders to address the challenges in education sector.

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Abdi Shaur Kotido, the Secretary Education in Kotido district says the district has identified Adventist Development Relief Agency, ADRA as a partner to facilitate the popularization of the ordinance throughout Kotido, before it's finally enforced.