The role of Universal Primary Education in the alleviation of domestic child labour in Uganda: The case of Nakawa division, Kampala district.
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This study was aimed at exploring and understanding of the role of UPE in the alleviation of domestic child labor (DCL) in Nakawa Division, Kampala District. The study teases out why UPE has not effectively performed to its expected outcome of reducing DCL. The study was guided by three objectives namely: • To examine the characteristics of children involved in domestic child labor; • To examine the parents perceptions about UPE in alleviation of DCL; and • To explore why some children have persisted in DCL in Nakawa Division despite the UPE programme. Using a qualitative approach, in-depth interviews, key informants interview, focus group discussion and observation were used to collect information from respondents. These were 48 Parents, 32 working children 16 employers and 12 key informants. Majority of working children were found to be females. Most of them between 14-17 years, majority being first and second born. These children have attained few years of primary education majority (24) went above P4. Working children are involved in various activities including cooking, child caring, shamba boy, fetching water, washing clothes and dropping & picking kids to and from school. Parents have mixed perceptions about the role of UPE in reducing domestic child labor. Parents perceive UPE to be good in reducing financial burden of school fees, reduced demand of income from their children, they perceive UPE to be not completely free because of additional costs like scholastic materials and uniform which is supposed to be provided by parents. Similarly inability to gain returns from education raised concern among some parents. Also quality of education in UPE schools is very poor and a lot needs to be desired. This has affected the performance of the pupils. It was found that the persistence of DCL is basically caused by poverty, orphanhood, ignorance of children’s rights, political instability, family background and peer pressure; Also push factors arising from the school system like sexual harassment, limited sanitary facilities, beatings and the general environment of the school has affected the standards of pupils’ performance thus making the children susceptible to domestic child labour It was therefore recommended that, UPE should be free whereby the hidden costs are paid by the government and be made compulsory by law to ensure that all children are taken to school. Sensitization of parents, employers and communities about the dangers of child labour in general and DCL in particular is also recommended. Likewise laws and regulations that protect the children against domestic child labour should be enforced to discourage the employment of children.