Butaleja. Atleast 50 per cent of children who enrol for Universal Primary Education [UPE] programme in Butaleja District drop out of school.
Latest findings by the district education department indicate that school dropout rate is highest among girls, who are forced to get married at a tender age. Boys are not spared either as they are forced to go and scare away birds in rice fields during school time.
The district education officer, Mr Phillip Kalyebbi, attributed the poor performance in the 2016 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) in the district on absenteeism among both teachers and pupils.
However, he was quick to add that there was some improvement compared to the previous year.
According to last year’s PLE results, only 104 pupils in the entire Butaleja District scored first grade while 1,312 scored second grade. 4,604 pupils sat for PLE.
Mr Kalyebbi said majority of children drop out of school before completing primary education because of poverty, teenage pregnancy and failure by parents to provide basic needs to their children especially girls.
Mr Kalyebbi noted that lack of interest, early marriages and family responsibilities have also driven hundreds of children out of school.
“The level of absenteeism of learners, which leads to school dropout, is very high,” said Mr Kalyebbi.
Common. A report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) shows that Uganda has the highest school drop-out rate for females in East Africa.