Education minister Janet Museveni has said government is considering setting up a factory to manufacture and supply sanitary towels to all schools as a means to support the girl-child through school.
She made the revelation during a presentation of the education sector under the seven-day series scheduled to mark the National Resistance Movement (NRM) manifesto week at State House Entebbe on Thursday.
The presentation was to highlight progress made by the NRM party in fulfilling pledges in the 2016-2021 term.
“This [pads for school girls] has proved to be rather difficult to implement because it is not something we can just do at once. It requires us to put [up] a factory that would produce sanitary pads for all schools. That is the only way we can solve this problem,” Ms Museveni said as she explained why government has not yet fulfilled its promise to deliver sanitary pads to learners.
Without disclosing when this would kick off or how much it would cost, Ms Museveni said: “We have costed it. We know what it will cost.”
She added: “So we are indeed waiting for the money and once we get the money, we will begin and that problem will be taken care of.”
Ms Museveni also said government would undertake a research study to establish why there are continuous dropouts among learners in government-supported schools under the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and the Universal Secondary Education (USE) programmes.
“What we are doing about these dropouts is to research at country level, which we are taking [on] soon to find out what the population thinks about UPE or USE. Should education be free for all or should it be subsidised? Because that is what has been bringing [about] the dropout rates,” Ms Museveni said.
In a bid to fight rampant absenteeism within schools, especially among staff, the minister said more funds had been allocated to tame the vice.
“Government has increased budget allocation for the inspection and supervision of education institutions in pre-primary, primary, secondary, teacher training education and BTVET [Business, Technical, Vocational Education and Training] sub-sectors by 73.1 per cent, thus Shs6.53 billion, from Shs8.93 billion in Financial Year 2016/2017 to Shs15.46 billion in Financial Year 2020/2021,” Ms Museveni said.