Toll-Free Lines Used to Combat School Dropout in Kyenjojo

1633 Views Kyenjojo, Uganda

In short
More girls are reportedly dropping out of school as a result of early pregnancies and marriage while the boys drop out to engage in agriculture. Records indicate that teenage pregnancies in the district stand at 30 percent, higher than the national rate of 25 percent.

Kyenjojo district has introduced a toll-free line to fight rampant school dropouts, especially among the girl child.

According to records from the district education department, the dropout rate stands at 55 percent especially in the sub-counties of Bufunjo, Butunduzi, Nyakwanzi and Butunduzi Town Council.

More girls are reportedly dropping out of school as a result of early pregnancies and marriage while the boys drop out to engage in agriculture. Records indicate that teenage pregnancies in the district stand at 30 percent, higher than the national rate of 25 percent.

But now, toll-free lines are available to enable whistle-blowers to inform the Ministry of Gender about any child who could not be attending school in their various communities. The number 0800-100-116 will enable authorities to trace the children and re-enroll them back into school.

Kyenjojo District Education Officer Gertrude Tibakanya says that the introduction of the toll-free line follows failure by the district authorities to enforce bylaws passed by the district council to penalize parents who do not take their children to school.
 
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Tibakanya explains that when traced, the children are counseled and then taken back to school and the parents sensitized. She adds that the department will also introduce community Baraza's, where education authorities and the police will talk to the community and create awareness on the dangers of girls dropping out of school.

 
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Simon Agaba, the LCIII Chairperson of Bufunjo Sub County welcomes the toll-free lines. He, however, says there is still need for special intervention to attract all school going children back to the schools. He explains that in some schools in the area, the classrooms are dilapidated and condemned, forcing the children to attend classes under trees and lessons are often interrupted by the rain.

In 2015, a report released by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on school dropouts in Uganda,100 percent of pupils enrolled in Primary one in Uganda only 25 percent manage to complete primary seven and school dropout is higher in primary than secondary 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.