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Saturday,August 08,2020 21:34 PM

Girl Education Conference Opens

By Vision Reporter

Added 15th August 2001 03:00 AM

PRIME Minister Prof. Apollo Nsibambi has called for a speedy end to the conflict in northern Uganda that has kept thousands of children out of school.

PRIME Minister Prof. Apollo Nsibambi has called for a speedy end to the conflict in northern Uganda that has kept thousands of children out of school.

By John Eremu and Anthony Mugeere PRIME Minister Prof. Apollo Nsibambi has called for a speedy end to the conflict in northern Uganda that has kept thousands of children out of school. While opening the Girl Education Movement (GEM) conference in Kampala yesterday, Nsibambi said the country’s biggest challenge is ending the 15-year-old insurgency perpetuated by rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) lead by Joseph Kony. “We have a major challenge to address conflicts and ensure that such occurrences do not recur. Peace is important for the provision of education which is an essential tool for the survival and development of society,” Nsibambi said. The three-day conference has drawn together participants from all African countries as well as representatives of the United Nations and donor agencies. President Yoweri Museveni is expected to launch the Girl Education Movement tomorrow. The function, at the International Conference Centre, was addressed by the UNICEF Executive Director, Carol Bellamy, the visiting Norwegian minister for international development, Ms Anne Kristin Sydnes, the Executive Director FAWE, Prof. Penina Mlama, and the Minister of Education and Sports, Dr. Khiddu Makubuya. It was punctuated by testimonies from school children and former LRA captives who narrated their experiences during captivity in Sudan. Charles Gale, abducted at the age of 11 in 1993, and Grace Arac, abducted at 15 in 1996, said they could go back to school if given a chance. Nsibambi, who represented the Vice-President, Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, assured the children that the Government will do everything to ensure that they continue their education. “We have a programme called COPE (Complementary Opportunities for Primary Education) from which they can partake of. They have the capacity to join our system and enhance it,” he said. Bellamy and Mlama hailed Uganda for promoting girls’ education, saying it was the single best investment any society could make. “Educated girls become educated women who participate in the social, economic and political life of their nation. They are more likely to be healthy, to have smaller families and to have healthy and educated children,” Bellamy said. Makubuya said it was disheartening to note that in this millennium and era of technological advancement, over 20 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa are out of school more than half of them girls. He called for serious advocacy of policies that promote girls’ education. He said, “GEM has a strong foundation in Uganda because the leadership has massively mobilised for girls’ education through the Universal Primary Education and specifically the national strategy for girls’ education.” Ends

Girl Education Conference Opens

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