Breaking

Schoolchildren Labour in G'nuts Gardens to Pay School Dues

Ayub Kawanguzi, a resident in the area who was found harvesting the groundnuts says that he works with his four children to collectively make big harvests on a daily basis and the farm owner pays him their joint average earning of 12,000 Shillings per day.
School going children cited in one of the gnut gardens, in Bukenga village, in Nabukalu sub county, in Bugiri district.

Audio 3

Parents in Nabukalu sub county, in Bugiri district, have opted to engage their children, some as young as six, in child labor, as a means of earning school fees. 

Most of the pupils sighted on the groundnut gardens are enrolled in universal primary education-UPE schools, where they are tasked to pay two kilograms of maize and 2,000 Shillings per term. 

Children between the ages of six and 17, who are often sent home to collect school dues, are seen harvesting groundnuts on different farms scattered across Nabukalu sub county. 

Children are paid 500 Shillings after harvesting and sorting one basin of groundnuts and those who fail to meet the average target, are given a cup of porridge normally served on the farms. 

Also, children assigned with packing and loading groundnuts on waiting trucks are paid 2,000 Shillings each. 

Asaph Mukisa, a primary five pupil at Nabukalu primary school says that his parents are unable to cater for all their family needs and he works on the groundnut farms to meet his school dues and other home needs. 

“We are 11 children at home, which is already straining to our family and I am not only here to raise school fees but also for the extra money to buy soap and others necessities at home,” he says. 

Flavia Nabwiire, a primary four pupil at Nabuganga primary school says that, after paying off her school fees, the extra money is used to buy sanitary pads. 

“My parents are not mindful about my education and I come here to earn money for school fees, buy off a few scholastic materials and sanitary pads,” she explains. 

 

Ayub Kawanguzi, a resident in the area who was found harvesting the groundnuts says that he works with his four children to collectively make big harvests on a daily basis and the farm owner pays him their joint average earning of 12,000 Shillings per day. 

Kawanguzi observes that several other parents have teamed with their children, so as to ably earn enough money to cater for both school dues and other household needs, since some children opt for luxury expenditures rather than prioritizing their family’s wellbeing.

//cue in: “embela ye’ne…//

Cue out…okanonia,”//

Jessica Akiidi, a groundnut farm owner says that, children are easy to supervise during the harvest season and some of the parents direct her to directly pay school fees for their children, in exchange of the labor extended to them.

//cue in: “abaana bayamba…//

Cue out…kamaala,”//

Moses Mulamba, another farm owner says that they require a force of many workers to harvest groundnuts from a one acre piece of land and children are preferred for such tasks, since they devot all their attention and time without complaining. 

//cue in: “tulina okugatondola… //

Cue out…abantu ekikumi,”//

Meanwhile, the Bugiri district education officer, Henry Kabuulo says that their efforts of fighting child labor are often frustrated by  parents, who deliberately force their children to carry out the role of fending for their families.