Parents urged to renew their commitment to protect girl child rights

Tororo South County MP addressing students of Bukedi Seconday School Tororo in March 2024. Photo/Joseph Omollo

What you need to know:

  • Fewer girls attend school on market days while others were married off during the school holidays. 

The Tororo South County Member of Parliament has urged parents to renew their commitment to protect the rights and welfare of girl children from being abused.

While addressing teachers and parents of schools during his spot inspection of government aided secondary schools in the constituency, Mr Fredrick Angura expressed concern over the increasing number of girl children dropping out of school as a result of defilement and "bandwagoning."

During his spot visits, Mr Angura presented prizes to students who scored first grade in the 2023 Uganda Certificate of Education [UCE] which included 100,000 cash money and a mattress.

The schools he toured included; Bukedi Seed Secondary School, Malaba Seed Secondary School, St. Mary’s Assumpta Seed Secondary School, Asinge Senior Secondary School and St. Laurence Secondary School.

Mr Angura noted that in order to prevent school dropout and increase household incomes, there is need to bridge social and cultural norms that tend to stand to be encumbrances to development.

‘’These girls you see have the energy, creativity, and passion to drive positive change in their communities but they face unique challenges and barriers in various societies. Therefore, there is an urgent need to break down these barriers for their well-being and development. Girls need to be told that they are not just the leaders of tomorrow; they are leaders today,” he said.

He challenged teachers and parents to guide the learners while selecting desired course programs with science related fields taking precedence.

The MP was responding to the plea made by Ms Josephine Bichachi, the head teacher of Bukedi Secondary School Tororo where she noted with concern the growing number of girl’s dropping out of school.

She said last year the number of female students in the school was more than that of the males but surprisingly the number has drastically reduced and the school cannot allocate their whereabouts.

‘By the closure of last year we had more girls than boys but when the year opened for the academic year, the big number of girls has drastically reduced and the information we are getting from their friends is that they have been married off,’’ the school head teacher noted.

Ms Bichachi said as the school administration their control over children stops at the school gate and what happens outside is meant for local leaders and parents adding that the situation is worse on weekly market days where fewer girls attend school.

Speaking to learners, the MP challenged them to have self-discipline and develop an ambition to go far in life  than getting contented with the current situation at their early age.  

‘’To you learners I challenge you to have self-discipline, regularly attend classes, and develop an ambition that redirects you to think and reach far other than being satisfied with the current situation.’’ he appealed.

“No work is shameful, successful girls have stories to tell, I’m here speaking to you and I have a story to tell. So, love what you are studying and make good use of the free education you have to learn and change your standards of living,” Mr Angura added.