KOBOKO. Koboko district officials have expressed worry over an alarming rate of school age drop-out.

The officials said chances for school age-going girls and boys to complete primary seven have dwindled as many continue dropping out of school at tender age.

Mrs Grace Goro, the Koboko district Secretary for Social Services disclosed that the cases of school dropout are more reflected among the girl-child.

According to Goro, in 2017 Academic year, at least 8.1% of the girls in Koboko dropped out of school compared to 8% cases among boys.

Kuluba, Abuku and Lobule Sub Counties have the leading cases of school dropouts in the district.

Officials attribute the alarming dropout rate to early marriage cases which they said are being backed up by parents, who opt to negotiate for bride price in exchange for their school-age going girls.

Goro identified some of the factors forcing children out of school as parental negligence, child labour, nightclubs, negative attitude by parents and children towards education.

Other factors he attributed to the worrisome situation Uncle unfriendly study environment characterized with torture by teachers and teachers’ absence from classes and high level of poverty.

"Lack of food as a result of poverty can make these children go for option B of looking for ways of getting money to eat and end up being impregnated," Goro stressed.

She called upon parents to consider educating their children as an important investment for the future.

Mr Robert Amandu, the Head Teacher of Nyangilia Primary School concurred with Goro saying the dropout rate of pupils in his school is equally alarming.

He attributed the problem to parental negligence in providing scholastic materials to their children and increased desire among the pupils to engage in boy to girl love relationships which sometimes results in teenage pregnancies and early marriages.

Yunus Aliga AwaMr. Yunus Aliga Awa, the Koboko DEO. PHOTO BY JOSEPH ODAMA

Mr Yunus Aliga, the Koboko District Education Officer (DEO) said the increased cases of school dropouts have forced the district education department to assign Sub County Chiefs to monitor pupils and teachers absenteeism in the schools.

He said the Chiefs were tasked to table their findings to the offices of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and that of the DEO for appropriate action.

He noted that at least out of 124 girls, who enroll for Primary One class, only 2 could end up completing Primary Seven class annually.

Koboko district has a total of 72 primary schools with an enrollment of 52, 000 pupils.

The Uganda National Household Survey report for 2016/2017 report shows that 8.3% of girls in the country drop out of school due to lack of interest,33.5% attribute it to affordability while 4.7 drop out due to parents’ decisions.