By Yahudu Kitunzi
At least 50 percent of the children who enroll for the Universal Primary Education [UPE] program in Butaleja district drop out of school.
Findings of the District Education Department indicate that school dropout rate is highest among girls, who are forced into early marriage, while boys mainly drop out to engage in farming and other chores around the home.
The District Education Officer, Phillip Kalyebbihas attributed the district’s poor performance in 2016 Primary leaving Examinations to absenteeism among both teachers and pupils.
According to last year’s PLE results, only 104 pupils in the entire Butaleja got a first grade while 1,312 scored second grade out of the 4,604 pupils sat for PLE.
The district has 101 government aided primary schools.
Kalyebbi says majority of children drop out of school before completing primary education because of poverty, teenage pregnancy and failure by parents to provide basic needs for their children especially girls.