Education By-law Meets Resistance

1445 Views Mbarara, Uganda

In short
Bernard Mastiko, a parent in Kakiika division, says some parents are unable to sustain their children at school after losing all they had.

A by-law passed by Kakiika Division in Mbarara municipality last month to ensure children stay in school has drawn protests from residents. The by-law imposes a fine of Shillings 50,000 on the child and another Shillings 100,000 on the parent.

The division was prompted to pass the by law following the increased presence of school age going children in markets and trading centers in the division. Although the division lacks statistics on the number of school dropouts, the authorities say the problem is real.
However, some residents describe the by-law as unfair.  Max Muhereza, a resident of Kakoma ward in Kakiika division, says much as the bylaw is good, the penalty is too high for parents especially those who are struggling to earn a living. He says that the Shillings 100,000 for the parent and an additional Shillings 50,000 for the child is too much.
Bernard Mastiko, a parent in Kakiika division, says some parents are unable to sustain their children at school after losing all they had. Jennifer Kwarija is one of the parents whose school going age children are not in school. Kwarija sells tomatoes at Koranorya market.
According to Kwarija, her six children dropped out of school after their father abandoned the family yet she doesn't have a stable source of income. Kwarija says she has no option to vend tomatoes with her children to earn a living.
Gumisiriza Kyabwisho, the Kakiika division LC III Chairperson backs the by-law, saying it will not be reversed. He says they are also considering marketing the idea to other divisions in the municipality.
//Cue In: "some of them...
Cue Out... also arrest the parents//

//Cue in: "Twine abaana bingi...
Cue Out... omuzaire we nawe tumukwate//


About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.