Mayuge pupils prefer fishing to studying

Mayuge school-going children fish in Mbaale swamp this week. PHOTO BY Yazid Yolisigira.

What you need to know:

Blame. Ms Nambozo blames parents whom she says are yet to understand the value of education


Several school-going children in Mayuge District prefer fishing to attending classes, Daily Monitor has learnt.

Investigations carried out by this paper also indicate that parents encourage their children to fish rather than attend classes. When this reporter visited Buwaya Sub-county earlier this week, he found nearly half of the children, majority of whom are boys, who should have been in school, catching mud fish, a type of fish that lives in muddy water.

And at Isikiro village, Daily Monitor found more than 30 children fishing in Mbaale swamp on the Mayuge-Iganga road. Ashraf Mawerere, 12, said he had not attended school for the last three days because he has to look for money to buy scholastic materials. Mawerere is a Primary Five pupil at Isikiro Primary School. James Waiswa, a Primary Six pupil at Mbaale Primary School, said fishing is exciting.

“On a good day, I get about Shs40, 000,” he said.
The deputy head teacher of Isikiro Primary School, Mr Moses Waiswa, attributed the high cases of absenteeism to fishing.
A study conducted in 2014 by African Population and Health Research Centre to assess the quality of education in Mayuge and Iganga districts showed that cases of pupil absenteeism were nearly 35 per cent.

The report showed that children majorly offer cheap labour in sugarcane and rice plantations as well as quarrying and fishing.
The Mayuge District chief administrative officer, Ms Loyce Nambozo, said the problem lies in the attitude of the parents some of whom are yet to understand the value of education.

According to a UNICEF report, the problems affecting children between six and 14 years include those related to the rights of the child to quality education, protection against violence, child labour, abuse and commercial sexual exploitation.


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