Correlates of enrolment and retention of Batwa Pygmy children in primary schools in Kisoro District, Uganda.
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The purpose of the study was to investigate correlates of enrolment and retention of Batwa pygmy children in primary schools in Kisoro district. The study intended to establish the extent to which Batwa social culture relates to enrolment and retention of their children in primary schools, find out what extent resettlement from forests or town (integration) has affected enrolment and retention of indigenous Batwa pygmy children in primary schools, establish whether or not participating of Batwa in education policies/programmes relates to enrolment and retention of their children in primary schools, establish the relationship between social economic status of Batwa and enrolment and retention of their children in primary schools. It was established that there is no cultural effect on enrolment and retention of Batwa children in primary schools since Batwa children freely interacted with non Batwa children in schools. It was found that however resettlement of Batwa affected the enrollment and retention of their children in primary schools. It was also found that non participation in policy and programmes formulation is not the cause of poor enrolment and retention of Batwa children in schools. The main correlate that affected enrolment and retention of Batwa children in primary schools was the economic status of Batwa in general. The recommendations of the study address critical Batwa resettlement, and socio economic issues related to enrolment and retention of Batwa children in primary schools. Special sessions should be held for teachers and Batwa children to create interest in them and to discourage isolation and mocking of Batwa children. This can be done during village meetings, visits by district administration officials and churches where the Batwa live. Most Batwa remain landless tenants and squatters on land held by other people, churches or government. This problem can be solved by using part of the revenue collected from the parks and forests which were the original homes of Batwa and using it to purchase land for Batwa. There should be an affirmative action in the education service provision to Batwa. The government should set up a resettlement programme for Batwa and acquire enough land for them. NGOs dealing with Batwa communities should be supported by the government and the communities living near where Batwa live since their economic disparity might overflow and affect them directly. The district administrations with Batwa communities should always monitor Batwa children attendance of school and those not at school should be mobilized and sent to school.