Educationists in Kotido district have asked parents to give pregnant teenagers a second chance when schools reopen.
They argue that a second chance will always give a girl child an opportunity to complete her education after delivery.
Benson Katyango Boeing, a senior education officer of Kotido district says girls are at the risk of dropping out of school once their parents don’t give them another chance to study and complete their education because of early pregnancies.
He urged the parents to consider education as a foundation for a bright future and encourage such girls to go back to school.
At least 48 teenage pregnancies were registered in Kotido district in 2020, of which 17 were primary seven candidates.
The Kotido Community Liaisons officer, Calisto Longole says parents in the district are procuring early marriage because they want immediate benefits compared to education which is seen as a lengthy process while others still look at the girl child as a source of wealth.
Jim Owiny, the Kotido health educator says that to curb teenage pregnancies, parents should open up and take on the responsibility of guiding, counselling and providing sex education to the children especially girls.
“I think parents should become open and provide sexual education to the teenage girls, otherwise the rate of teenage pregnancies will keep going up,” he warned.
John Bosco Akore, a member of Karamoja Elders Forum says that unless the government opens schools, more teenage pregnancies will be registered because the children are redundant at home.
“Let government open schools, so that we save the young generation. The girls are at risk of sexual abuse during school closure, because they are not busy with books. The parents alone cannot shape children without proper education,” said Akore.
Betty Napwot, one of the pregnant teenagers who sat PLE in Maaru Primary school says that she hopes her parents will grant her a chance to pursue secondary education.
The President on Wednesday during his nation address eased the restrictions by opening places of worship but maintained closure of schools until teachers and learners are vaccinated. Schools are projected to open next year.
In 2020, the ministry registered more than 100,000 cases of girls who were impregnated in the lockdown.
The ministry also drafted guidelines for the management of pregnant girls\mothers to help them stay in school. According to the guidelines, school administrators are required to keep in touch with the pregnant girls to monitor their well-being and provide the necessary emotional, moral and spiritual support.
The schools will also be expected to keep the records of whoever is responsible for the pregnancy for easy tracking when the need arises.