Girl Child Initiative Uganda (GCIU), an organization that champions the right to education of the girl child has urged government to allow pregnant students back to school.
In his latest address to the nation on the COVID-19 situation, President Museveni announced the lifting of the lockdown for some activities which includes reopening of schools for candidates classes and finalists. As such, schools will reopen on October 15 for the candidate classes of P-7, S-4, S-6, finalists in tertiary colleges and universities.
GCIU Executive Director Nixon Segawa, commends government and President Museveni in particular for partially reopening schools which is a move to accord students the right to education. He urges government to give a chance to students who became pregnant.
“The decision is on a welcome note due to the enormous effects that most girls in the country have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown measures that have been imposed on the country since March. With the prolonged stay out of school and without the support system of teachers and school administrators, many girls are left vulnerable to teenage pregnancy, early childhood marriage and gender-based violence, among other devastating effects of Covid-19,” Segawa said.
According to a Police report, 4,442 cases of defilement were reported between January and April 2020. Sauti reported 800 cases of sexual abuse between January and May 2020, including increased cases of teenage pregnancy. With all these cases, GCIU calls upon government and school administrations to create an enabling environment that will allow pregnant students and finalists to go back to school, register and sit for their final examinations.
“These candidate and finalists should not be left to lose their valuable future as a result of being pregnant but should be allowed to also go back, catch up with their studies, sit for their final exams so as to redeem their future. Educating a girl child is key to a thriving society, these girls should not be left out,” he said.