Data at the district probation and welfare department indicates that over 54% of the over 41,000 children in the district are out of school
Pupils of Banda Primary School. Some children are out of school in the district
The number of children dropping out of school in Kyankwanzi district, to offer cheap labour into gardens has reached a deplorable level and district officials are contemplating arresting the parents.
The district chiefs have now ordered the responsible officials to sensitise parents about the vice and arrest those who fail to take heed.
Data at the district probation and welfare department indicates that over 54% of the over 41,000 children in the district are out of school.
Maize farmers are cited as the major employers of the children.
According to Kyankwanzi production department, the district ranked third in maize production countrywide, with sub-counties of Gayaza, Bananywa, Butemba, Ntwetwe-Kitabona, Nsambya and Watuba putting several metric tonnes on market every season.
However, this has come at the cost of the children who should be at school.
The Kyankwanzi district LC5 chairperson, Leopold Ddamulira Kinene, directed LC3 chairpersons, sub-county and parish chiefs to supervise villages and apprehend all parents and children who were not at school.
He said any form of sabotage in the performance of the education sector should not be allowed.
The Kyankwanzi district education officer, Ibrahim Kabuka, also notes that it was becoming a problem to keep children in schools with their cheap labour highly required. He says that some of the children are being exploited by their own parents.
“As a department, we have embarked on the sensitisation of parents, school management committees and community leaders, as a way of curbing this vice,” he says. He also noted that some of the parents risk being arrested, since it is criminal to make such children work on farms.
At a breaking of the ground ceremony to construct a community school by an NGO, Building Tomorrow, at Runyana, Banda sub-county in Kyankwanzi sub-county recently, the district Woman MP, Ann Maria Nankabirwa, said parents should endeavor to keep their children in school.