Uganda Whistle Blowers Association (UWBA) president Musa Majoba has called upon President Yoweri Museveni to permit the reopening of schools in the country.
Majoba has warned that the continued closure of schools will lead to an unprecedented teenage pregnancy crisis. Teenage pregnancy has been a public health problem for years in Uganda. He noted that during the 2020 lockdown, there were reports that as many as 2,372 teenage pregnancies were reported.
On June 7, 2020, NBS TV ran a story about the increasing rates of teenage pregnancies in Busoga sub-region and in particular, this bulletin indicated that over 60 learners between the age of 14-15 years in Luuka and Kaliro districts were pregnant and likely to miss school when 2nd term was anticipated to re-open.
Without the support system of teachers and school administrators, many girls are left vulnerable to teenage pregnancy, early childhood marriage and gender-based violence, among other devastating effects of Covid-19.
In Uganda, as with many other countries around the world, Covid-19 has resulted in an increased rate of teenage pregnancy. In order to gain basic necessities like sanitary towels, girls have engaged in transactional sex with men who take advantage of their need for money.
Majoba appealed to President Museveni to consider the dilemma many parents who had paid school fees face. He also said that many teachers and school proprietors have not earned a living since March 2020. Many are at risk of closing their schools forever or teachers abandoning the profession.
He said just as President Museveni has empowered the Ministry of Health to spot check how SOPs are followed in places of work, the same should be for education institutions.
Majoba commended President Museveni for guiding the country through a difficult one year of dealing with the Covid pandemic with minimal loss of life.