What you need to know:
- "The clubs, which will constitute pregnant girls, teenage mothers, and selected learners, will be used to fight stigma, decampaign teenage pregnancies and sexual abuse as well as encourage survivors of sexual abuse to go back to school and complete their studies,” Mr Apollo Okello, the Amuru District education secretary.
Authorities in Amuru District have started forming teen clubs to keep pregnant learners and teenage mothers in school following the reopening of schools on Monday.
Information from different health facilities in the district indicates that up to 3,200 teenage girls sought maternal health services at the different units during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Mr Apollo Okello, the Amuru District education secretary, said: “The clubs, which will constitute pregnant girls, teenage mothers, and selected learners, will be used to fight stigma, decampaign teenage pregnancies and sexual abuse as well as encourage survivors of sexual abuse to go back to school and complete their studies.”
He added that the clubs will be activated in all the 56 primary and secondary schools in the district.
“The clubs come following the decision by the government to reopen schools. The clubs will also include vulnerable categories and will be overseen by the school management committees (SMCs), Parent Teachers Associations (PTAs), and senior male and female teachers,” he added.
Most of the girls affected were between the ages of 15 and 19.
Authorities also revealed that some girls eloped or were married off during the nearly two years of schools being closed.
Before the closure of schools in March 2020, Amuru District had a total of 56 government-aided schools with an enrolment of 41,163 learners.
Ms Joyce Lanyero, the Amuru District Education Officer, said the most affected sub-counties were Pabbo and Lamogi.
The education department has rolled out a campaign dubbed ‘’Go Back to School’’ which is geared towards ensuring that all school-going children return to school.
At Agwayugi Primary School in Lamogi Sub-county, Mr William Alex Latim, the head teacher, said a total of six pupils from her school were impregnated and married off during the lockdown.
In the Acholi Sub-Region, more than 20,000 teenage girls were reportedly impregnated during the Covid-19 lockdown.
This has been attributed to lack of parental care, poverty, and domestic violence.