The Acholi region is experiencing significant sexual and reproductive health challenges like teenage pregnancies, early marriages, HIV and gender-based violence, habits which, according to leaders, have increased greatly during the COVID-19 lockdown, when movements were restricted, while schools and places of worship remained closed.
local leaders in Acholi are concerned about the ever-increasing moral
degeneration among the young people in the region. They attribute this to the lack of sexuality
The Acholi region is
experiencing significant sexual and reproductive health challenges like
teenage pregnancies, early marriages, HIV and gender-based violence,
habits which, according to leaders, have increased greatly during the
COVID-19 lockdown, when movements were restricted, while schools and
places of worship remained closed.
Christopher Ocan, the Amuru District Inspector of Schools says the
lockdown has rendered children especially in urban centres redundant,
and they are now at liberty to engage in socially unacceptable
During the first lockdown
from March to September 2020, more than 17,000
teenage girls were impregnated and a significant
number of them married off. According to Phoebe Ayoo
Obol, a parent and Woman Councilor for Patiko and Owor in Gulu District,
the closure of these key institutions is breeding moral decay.
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But Patrick Robert
Larubi, a rights activist and a former teacher attributes the immorality
among young people to a lack of sexuality education both in
homes and schools.
Sexuality education is defined as teaching about human sexuality,
including intimate relationships, human sexual anatomy, sexual
reproduction, sexually transmitted infections, sexual activity, sexual
orientation, gender identity, abstinence, contraception, and
reproductive rights and responsibilities.
the topic has over the years triggered debate amongst Ugandans with
many parents opposing the introduction of the country’s first sexuality
education program for schoolchildren. They argue that it is taboo to
teach sexuality education outside the family and at a young age. But
according to Larubi, this is the missing link.
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Musician Justice Obol asserts that the current information era and internet evolution around
the globe has exposed children to western lifestyles that undermine
African traditional values and norms.
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However, Ismail Mulindwa, the Director of Basic
Education in the Ministry of Education and Sports told URN in a phone interview that the Ministry
has incorporated sexuality education into the lower secondary school curriculum. Mulindwa
explained that sexuality education has not achieved the desired milestone because
it was interrupted in 2016 when Parliament banned its implementation in schools
following concerns raised by the religious leaders in the country.