The First Lady said fighting school dropout is “a collective responsibility.”
The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni has urged parents and teachers to ensure zero school drop-out, saying special mechanisms should be devised to reduce the rising primary school drop-out rates in the country.
"Although, the Government strives to ensure that every child goes to school, we are facing numerous challenges, with majority originating from parents, who have forgotten their roles," Janet said in a statement read by Rosemary Ssenninde, the state minister for primary education at the launch of Zero Dropout (ZERO) initiative in Kampala recently.
ZERO is an initiative of headteachers of Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools and Uganda Teachers Association Volunteer (UYA) aimed at seeking interventions in controlling primary school dropout rates.
"Religious leaders also have a fundamental role to play in their respective localities by reminding followers of their roles towards children," she added
Mrs. Museveni thanked Wakiso universal education teachers and headteachers, who started initiatives to fight school drop-out rates within primary schools in the district by fighting the social-economic challenges such as poverty, ignorance, poor parenting, which hinder children from accessing education even when it is free.
The First Lady said fighting school dropout is "a collective responsibility."
Various United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) reports on primary school drop-out rates in the country show that Uganda has the highest school drop-out rate for females in East Africa.
UNESCO attributes the high female primary school drop-out on early marriage, pregnancy, lack of sanitary towels while for the boys, it is lack of interest and search for money through business and related child labour.
The drop-out rate in the country is at 42.8%, with over half of the number of female pupils that join primary not completing.
Paul Mwambi, a long-serving teacher with Taibah International School, and a member of the First Lady-supported ZERO program, said the program involves a strong collaboration between teachers, headteachers, and parents too, among other things, identify children who have taken long to report to school and those that are on and off to establish the cause.