NEBBI. Leaders in Nebbi District have expressed concern over the small number of girls in the area that have registered to sit this year’s Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE).
According to statistics released by the district education department on Tuesday, of the 2,133 candidates that registered for PLE, 622 are girls, something that officials say highlights the high school dropout rate in the area.
The district inspector of schools, Mr James Gwoktho, said many girls are married off at a young age.
He cited a case in Parombo Sub-county where a parent married off his daughter, a Primary Seven candidate, just before PLE exams and when they went to arrest him, he fled to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“It is so sad that even with the registered 622 girls, some may not show up for their final exams,” Mr Gwoktho said.
According to statistics from the district education department, the dropout rate in 2017 stood at 50 per cent and increased to 64 per cent in 2018. Mr Gwoktho said the dropout rate is very common in schools bordering DRC where children are involved in cross border petty trade.
A recent survey conducted by Nebbi District NGO Forum indicates that some parents force their daughters to marry in order to generate wealth for the family while others are kept at home to look after their siblings.
Mr Eddy Nam, the programme manager of Nebbi District NGO Forum, said since 2015, the overall primary school completion rate in the area has been at 39 per cent.
“NGOs and government have educated parents about the importance of education but dropouts have continued because parents are not playing their role. It will take time to reverse illiteracy if dropouts continue,” he said.
Ms Jackeline Aol, the district Woman MP, said the education sector needs collective responsibility from all stakeholders in the district.