A non-governmental body, Windle International Uganda (WIU), with support from Global Affairs Canada has partnered with World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and the Aga Khan Foundation to empower the girl-child with education to help improve their quality of life and enhance their employment opportunities.
The four-year project dubbed, Adolescent Girls’ Education, will benefit refugees and their host communities in the districts of Obongi and Moyo.
Speaking to Daily Monitor in an interview yesterday, Ms Charity Namara, the deputy programme officer of WUSC, said the project, which targets 105 institutions, will focus on improving equitable learning outcomes and extending quality education to help adolescent girls and female youth in normal or non-formal upper primary and secondary school education as well as vocational skills training programmes.
“By the end of the four years, there is going to be improved equitable learning outcome for adolescent girls and female youth benefiting from quality, gender-responsive, innovative and inclusive formal and non-formal educational opportunities,” she said.
Ms Christine Dulua, the assistant Palorinya Settlement commandant, said there is need for a bylaw to arrest parents who give away their underage children for early marriage, instead of encouraging them to keep in school.
She tasked refugees leaders and host communities to draft and enforce the bylaw to arrest errant parents.
Uganda is one of the countries that suffers early and forced marriages that have significantly contributed to high school drop outs,
The legal age of consent in Uganda is 18 years.
However, some learners have already been married off due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic that hit the country early last year.
The boys are now engaged in full-scale businesses and fishing activities, especially in Obongi District, which they deem as more profitable than their education.
Mr Jimmy Ameko, the Moyo District Senior Probation and welfare Officer, challenged the partners to bring on board children who have dropped out of school so they can be equipped with life skills.
“The project should be able to provide space for the boys and girls to advance their career development. If a child has acquired vocational skills training through the design in terms of curriculum, this person can be helped to acquire a certificate, do diploma or proceed to attain degree,” Mr Ameko said.
Mr Kasule Abu, MERC Coordinator Aga Khan Foundation, said the project also has components for teachers’ training and some teachers have already been selected for the training.
“There is space for capacity building for teachers in the schools that we would be working with. We selected seven teachers per school from 105 schools and capacity building programmes will be conducted in the process of implementation,” he said.