Examining the implementation of the right to education of pregnant adolescent girls in Uganda: a case study of selected primary schools in Mbale District
Nyaboke, Saeta Charleen
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The study examined the implementation of the right to education of pregnant adolescent girls in Uganda. Primary schools in Mbale district and was guided by the following objectives: 1) to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the human rights instruments on education of pregnant adolescent girls ; 2) to establish the progress made in implementation of the rights on pregnant adolescent girl child education; 3) to identify and explain the challenges to the right to pregnant girl child education ; and 4) to come up with strategies for enabling the realization to the right to pregnant adolescent girls education. The study was carried out in six primary schools. Head teachers, senior women teachers, teenage mothers, parents, police, actants in NGO sector and District Education Officials, court officials and religious leaders were involved in the study. Purposive sampling technique was used and data collected using document review, interviews and focus group discussions. Major findings revealed that Uganda is a signatory to most of international and regional human rights instruments promoting the rights of pregnant school girls and teenage mothers to carry on with schooling such as UDHR 1948, Protocolto the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, less progress has been made with regard to their implementation in Uganda and Mbale district in particular. However, pregnant school girls continue to be dismissed from school and denied their right to education. The study identified a host of challenges facing realization of the right to education such as pregnant girls running away from schools, incredible and harsh modalities used by school administrators on dismissing the girls from schools, limited awareness among the communities about the human rights instruments among others. The study came up with strategies that could address the identified challenges. Notable among these is the need for parenting seminars, revision of the re-entry policies and increasing community awareness among others. The study concluded that pregnant girl education in Mbale District has continued to be a dream yet to be realized. As established by the study, the cultural milieu of the communities in Mbale promote early pregnancies. This study concludes by fronting the need for a corrective framework structured in a way that it incorporates the key clauses from all the relevant human rights instruments. This should be prepared in collaboration and active participation of the key stakeholders in Mbale district right from the grassroots.