Gulu education by-law fails as dropouts persist
Posted Thursday, January 10 2013 at 02:00
Sets precedence. A 2010 by-law passed to punish parents and teachers who do not provide children with education needs fails to have an impact as the dropout rate continues to rise.
The progress of an education ordinance rolled out by Gulu District three years ago to improve academic performance has hit a snag.
Despite having a by-law in place, a report shows that several children continue to drop out of school.
The Education and Sports Ordinance passed by the sub-counties and approved by the district council in 2010 agreed that parents or teachers who failed to meet the education needs of children would be subjected to a fine and a six-month jail term.
But ever since, no parent or teacher has been punished for contravening it.
Last year alone, statistics indicate that at least 40 primary school girls dropped out before completion of Primary Seven due to pregnancy or marriage, while thousands of boys also dropped out.
The district inspector of schools, Mr Robinson Obot, said last week that the number could be higher because many cases were not reported to authorities.
“We are aware the actual number of girls who dropped out last year could be higher because other cases have not been documented at lower levels,” Mr Obot said.
The council had set a target of having at least 100 candidates passing in the first grade in last year’s Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE).
However, they were forced to relax the implementation of the by-law after observing that the 2011 PLE results had put the district among the worst performers in the country, with less than 100 pupils in first grade.
But the district vice chairperson, Mr Isaac Ojok, said they failed to get the required funding to roll out the ordinance.
Mr Ojok said the ordinance, before its inception, had to be translated into the local language for easier understanding among all partners, with about 5,000 copies needing to be printed for distribution to the public.
However, he said it would kick off this year after getting support from some aid agencies.
“After getting funds from World Vision International, our performance will improve once the ordinance begins to take effect,” he said.