Campaign To Get Back Child Mothers To School Pays Off

1650 Views Ntoroko, Uganda

In short
Some of the child mothers are victims of rape, defilement or early child marriages.

A campaign launched by Ntoroko district last year to encourage child mothers to return to school and pursue education has started paying off. Ntoroko has a high number of child mothers aged between 13 and 17years especially in Karugutu and Rwebisango sub counties. Some of the child mothers are victims of rape, defilement or early child marriages. Despite giving birth to more than one child at an early age, some of the child mothers have beaten the odds and returned to school as they also look after their children.
 
This follows a campaign to sensitize parents on the importance of girl child education that was initiated by the district after records showed that the school dropout rate of girls was at 55%. The campaign has now seen more than sixty child mothers return to school. Maureen Kemigisa, a student of Karugutu Secondary School is one of the child mothers who have returned to school. Kemigisa says that she was impregnated while in primary seven at the age of 14 years by a man of 30 years who often drove her to school.
 
Kemigisa says that she sat her Primary Leaving Examinations when she was pregnant but managed to score 19 aggregates. She says that after giving birth the PLE results inspired her to go back to school because she knew that she would perform better in secondary school.  According to Kemigisa, she was inspired through the door to door campaigns by district officials and some parents.

Kemigisa who is now in senior two, however says she is facing a challenge of carrying on with her education and looking after her child. She says that sometimes she doesn’t attend classes especially when his 3-year old son is sick.

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Beatrice Biira, a student at Rwebisengo Secondary School got pregnant at age 13 when she was in senior one. She says that she is happy to go back to school because she hopes to get a job in future and look after her children. Biira says that she will inspire other child mothers to return to school.

She however says that she struggles to look for school fees, since her parents and her husband are unemployed.  

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Henry Mugisa, the Ntoroko district education officer says that some parents have a negative attitude towards the education of girl children and instead prefer to marry them off at an early age. He says others keep them at home to provide labor in gardens and domestic work.

Mugisa says the district will set up education task force committees in all sub counties to ensure that there is high enrollment of girl children in schools. He also says that the district has started providing scholastic materials such as mathematical sets, books and pens to girls that performed well in schools to motivate others to join and stay in schools.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.