In July, Fatuma Nansamba, 19, in S.6. at Kibibi SS, Mpigi district, was expelled from school after she became pregnant. However, after the intervention of the Uganda National Examinations Board secretary, Mathew Bukenya, Nansamba was allowed to sit her examinations. Frederick Womakuyu sought people
presidential advisor on the media
It is wrong to dismiss the girl because when young people become pregnant, it is not intended. They should have allowed her to sit her exams even at home if they could not accommodate her.
Aggrey Kibenge, spokesperson, ministry of education
The school was right. Schools are run on rules and pregnancy at school is gross misconduct. Any student who violates such a rule must be expelled. If pregnancy is allowed, students will be exposed to risks such as diseases, HIV/AIDS and in extreme cases abortion. However, given that Nansamba is in a candidate class, one would be sympathetic and allow her to sit her exams.
Dr. Emmanuel Otaala,
minister of state for primary health care
Government policy gives pregnant girls a second chance to study. The girl should be allowed to sit her exams, deliver and then resume her studies. Some people still believe a pregnant girlâ€™s place is at home. But in Government, we believe if a girl is better-educated, she will support the baby financially when employed. She will also be able to care for the baby and reduce infant mortality.
Fagil Mandy, education consultant and former commissioner in the ministry of education
Pregnancy is not allowed in school as this is a bad example to other students. The head teacher was right: you cannot eat your cake and have it. The girl should have known that pregnancy at her age is a taboo and the place for pregnant women is marriage. The girl should rest and come to study next year â€” she should learn and be responsible for her behaviour.
Prof. Livingstone Luboobi, vice chancellor, Makerere University
Am I the one who made her pregnant? However, Nansamba should be allowed to do her exams if she was not in labour. Schools should tolerate such cases if the pregnancy will not disturb other students. At university we allow students to sit exams when pregnant and secondary schools are not an exception.
Matthew Bukenya, secretary UNEB
The girl contravened the regulations of that school. She should have waited until marriage. But since it happened, the school should allow the girl to sit her exams: I have talked to the school and she will be allowed to do her exams. Dismissing her is like giving her another punishment; she will be unable to take care of the baby. Overall, the ministry policy does not allow pregnancy in schools but if it happens, the girl is sent home and allowed to return to school later to finish her studies.
Erias Lukwago, Member of Parliament
We should not encourage pregnancy in schools: but it is not a crime if one gets pregnant. School authorities should allow such girls to continue with their studies; otherwise we shall ruin their future. Besides, how do you expect someone who is above 18 years not exercise natureâ€™s call? There is no proof that students at school should not be allowed to get pregnant.
Prof. Senteza Kajubi, chancellor, Nkumba University
Formulating a policy on pregnant school girls is difficult. If you allow it, many students may become pregnant. A school is meant for learning and it has no facilities to help girls deliver. The only way is to make arrangements on how such students may cope; like allowing them to sit for their exams. But when you dismiss them, you destroy them for life â€” education of the girl-child means a prosperous nation and reduction in maternal mortality.
SHOULD PREGNANT GIRLS LEAVE SCHOOL?