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Over 200 School Girls Impregnanted in Bundibugyo During Lockdown

Grace Pamela Adong, the Bundibugyo District Probation Officer, says a number of girls aged between 13 and 18 years might not return to school because they are either married, breastfeeding or still be pregnant.
The failure by government to engage young girls in development programs exposed them to ill behaviours

Audio 4

Bundibugyo district authorities are concerned that many young girls may not return to school because of pregnancies and early marriages.

This stems from data compiled by the district indicating that more than 200 girls had been impregnated since government halted studies in March 2020 due to the COVID19 pandemic.  

Grace Pamela Adong, the Bundibugyo District Probation Officer, says a number of girls aged between 13 and 18 years might not return to school because they are either married, breastfeeding or still be pregnant.

He says although the statistics compiled by the Criminal Investigations Department shows that about 200 have been impregnated in the past five months, her office is aware that the figure is much higher since most cases go unreported because some parents conceal the information.

//Cue in: “We have a number of girls…    

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She attributes the high number of teenage pregnancies to the prolonged lockdown and high poverty levels in households. She says that they have embarked on a door to door sensitization campaign to encourage girls who have given birth and in early stages of their pregnancy to return to school.  

//Cue in: “We have gone… 

 

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The district is also encouraging those who feel out of place to retain to school to take on vocational studies.

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Muhamad Masereka, the Deputy Head Teacher Green Circle Primary School in Harugale Sub County expects fewer girls to return to school. He says schools occupy learners and keep them away from all manner of temptations.

He, however, says the 6-month’s lockdown exposed them to all kind of ill behaviour. 

//Cue in: “I expect the numbers…

Cue out:..to turn up.”//

 

Anthony Balyebulya, the headteacher Bubukwanga Secondary School wants government to prioritize the issue of young girls who could be pregnant or married. He attributes the problem to the hard economic times several parties are going through, which has prompted some of them to give away their daughters in marriage.

  Justus Bithaghalise, the Bundibugyo District Education Officer argues that although the government policy allows expectant learners to return to school, some might have low esteem to meet their peers. He, however, says they will try their best to ensure all learners return to class through awareness creation.