By Andrew Masinde
Schools have closed for holidays. However parents are worried about the safety of their children during holidays.
Uganda National Examination Board Chairperson Fagil Mandy while addressing parents at Good Times Infant School cautioned them to protect their children during holidays.
This was during the schools’ sports day, at the close of the term.
“How can you leave the house without knowing how your child slept? What kind of parent are you? Do you really care about your children during holidays? This is the time for you to be extra careful,” Mandy advised the teachers.
“Create programmes for your children before you leave home and if possible, keep them away from television,” he said.
He added that most children are exposed to defilement, fornication, hooliganism, idleness, and drug abuse, especially during holidays than in school.
Nowadays, so many children are having sex at a tender age; partly because of poor parenting.
According to the African Reproductive and Sexual Health Scorecard report, Uganda has the highest rate of adolescent pregnancy in East Africa, at 43% with an adolescent fertility rate of 159 births per 1,000 young women aged 15 to 19 years. This places it in the eighth position in Sub- Saharan Africa.
The report further indicates that the national teenage pregnancy rate is at 25% pointing to pregnancies as the leading contributor to high school drop-out.
Further statistics show that 24% of adolescent girls in Uganda become pregnant before the age of 19 and that adolescents account for 33.3% of maternal deaths, while a UNAIDS report indicate that HIV rates of 15 to 24 year-olds is at 4.8% for females and 2.3% for males.
During holidays, Mandy added, ensure that children are involved in co-curricular activities. “Head teachers and parents must know that much as it is important to have children in class and reading their books, they must also be skilled in other physical fields,” he explained.
The principal of the school Ronald Mpagi thanked all parents for entrusting the school with their children.