Don’t allow pregnant girls in school, says Ruwenzori bishop
What you need to know:
- The Kabarole District education officer, Ms Elizabeth Kasenene, last week told school head teachers to comply with Ministry of Education policy and allow pregnant girls back to school.
FORT PORTAL. Bishop Reuben Kisembo of Ruwenzori Diocese has advised government and other education stakeholders to stop allowing pregnant and breastfeeding girls from returning to school.
“We advise that let them first give birth, breastfeed and later they can come back to school. They set a bad example to the rest of girls in school,” Bishop Kisembo said last week.
The cleric’s advice comes a week after schools reopened.
He joins Mukono Diocese Bishop James William Ssebaggala, who also recently advised parents whose girls are pregnant or breastfeeding to take them elsewhere and not in church-founded schools.
The Kabarole District education officer, Ms Elizabeth Kasenene, last week told school head teachers to comply with Ministry of Education policy and allow pregnant girls back to school.
Bishop Kisembo told Monitor that pregnant and breastfeeding girls are a bad example to others.
“Morally it disturbs other girls who are younger when they see their fellow girls pregnant, we want to advise the government, parents, pregnant girls that education has no age limit, let them be patient first, produce, breastfeed their child and come back to school when they are free,” he said.
Bishop Kisembo added that pregnancy has side effects on girls, which affects their concentration in class.
“The government can give directives but it has challenges, we are not opposing the government but we are advising all stakeholders who are pushing this to leave it. The school environment is not conducive for pregnant girls,” he said.
The bishop also said the government should arrest and prosecute those who impregnated girls during the lockdown.
The Ministry of Education in December 2020 revised guidelines for the prevention and management of teenage pregnancy in schools. The policy directs all schools to prioritise the admission of pregnant and breastfeeding girls. It also provide directions to schools on how to tackle stigma, discrimination, and violence against learners who are pregnant or are parents.
“The girl should go on mandatory maternity leave when she is at least three months pregnant. If the fellow learner is responsible for the pregnancy, the boy shall also be given mandatory leave at the same time the girl goes on leave. He will only return after she has delivered,” the policy reads in part.