The Executive Secretary of Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB), Dan Odongo has asked all schools that have started registering their candidates for final exams not to leave out all-female learners who got pregnant in the period of Covid-19 lockdown.
Odongo made the plea on Thursday at Uganda Media Center, where he said that teachers should not discriminate those candidates but rather should attend to them more because they are victims of circumstances.
“UNEB recognizes that the lockdown due to Covid-19 has a very tough period, especially for the girl child. We have received reports that a number of them became pregnant during this season. While we don’t condone teenage pregnancy, we recognize that most of these girls are victims of circumstance, holding unintended pregnancies,” He said.
“Many of them are traumatized and denying them the opportunity to sit their final examination would be double jeopardy. This will also derail the gains of gender inclusiveness attained so far in reducing the disparity between girls and boys registering for their finals examinations, and finishing a given academic cycle. Therefore as guided by the Ministry of Education and Sports, UNEB is calling on schools to register the pregnant girls to enable them to sit for their final examination.”
Odonga’s declaration comes at a time when several reports are showing increasing numbers of teenage pregnancies in different parts of the country. For example in only Kitgum district, more than half of the female students in the district will either be married off or will be pregnant by the end of this year.
According to the June statistics that the district Community Development Office presented in a meeting with UNICEF, 1,519 girls below 19 years visited a hospital for antenatal care since the Coronavirus pandemic forced schools shut in March.
In Hoima district, over 3000 young females have been impregnated in the period of six months since the closure of the schools. They are also many unnoticed cases in central districts and also in the western part of the country.
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