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‘66% of children who join P.1 fail to complete P.7’

By Wilson Manishimwe

Added 13th February 2019 01:53 PM

Kabunga said the completion rate of pupils stands at 34%, and the Ministry of Education is on move to raise the rate.

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Some children were also present at the workshop (Photo by Wilson Manishiimwe)

Kabunga said the completion rate of pupils stands at 34%, and the Ministry of Education is on move to raise the rate.

EDUCATION 
 
KAMPALA- 66% of children who join Primary one fail to complete primary seven, Ronald Kabunga, a gender mainstreaming unit official at Ministry of Education and Sports has said.
 
Kabunga said the completion rate of pupils stands at 34%, and the Ministry of Education is on move to raise the rate.
 
He said the government has achieved parity in terms of access to education. He said it’s a 50-50 for both boys and girls.
 
“But the question is very many children start, but how many complete school? So as the education sector, we are grappling with two issues; performance (quality education) and completion rate which is still at 34%, but still the completion rate for girls is less than that of boys,” he explained. 
 
Speaking during the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) workshop at Royal Suites in Bugolobi on Tuesday afternoon, Kabunga added:  “Government through Ministry of Education is revitalising its efforts to fight all forms of discrimination of girls’ education.
 
It stems from the fact that from our cultural settings in rural areas, for instance if there is fees shortage, they first pay for boys and girls later; this should stop.”
 
Quoting 2017 education ministry statistics, Kabunga said girls completion rate stood at 47%, whereas that of boys was 51%, which shows that  there is  gap between girls and boys.
 
Several officials from CSOs cited  cultural norms and beliefs, child marriages as some of bottlenecks to girl child education.
 
Night-Stella Chandiru, an education specialist at United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Uganda said unconducive environment especially in government-aided schools has contributed to less completion rate.
 
“The government has done quite a big role in ensuring universal access to education, however teachers are over stretched which makes learning environment unconducive. Some parents have ignored their role to ensure that children are fed,” said Chandiru.
 
She added: “Government and partners have a role to play to make sure that parents individually carry on their roles as far as education of girls is concerned.”
 
Joyce Atimango, the executive director Trailblazers Mentoring Foundation said: “We come from cultures that believe that educating a girl child is wastage of time and resources. This makes the families invest more in boys; that has been a hindrance to girl child education.”
 
She added: “For a long time, the Ministry of Education has been addressing several cultural issues affecting  girl child education and among them are cultural norms. Many of us come from societies which are patriarchal where men have supremacy; they have the powers, resources and determine where they should spend or not.”
 
Atimango called for collaborative efforts from opinion leaders, educationists, media and politicians geared towards fighting such beliefs.
 
“We all have a big role to play; government and civil society are taking lead. But even girls have a role to play for instance reporting such rights violations,” she explained.
 
Irene Kagoya, the influencing manager PLAN International noted that several reports have indicated that one in every three girls has ever been sexually harassed. She said in most cases, once harassed, some end up dropping out of school.
 
 
 
 

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