School children from different districts in Uganda, deliberated under the theme, “Girl Child Education should be a priority to the Government,” in an activity that Parliament co-sponsored with Plan international
There was high energy as the Speaker; Asumpta Muwanse from Kamuli Girl’s Primary School opened the debate.
She noted that despite the various challenges that girls face, Government was increasing efforts to make the girl child more visible, and is working hard to attain the development goals of quality education that would positively impact on the girl child.
The Motion was moved by Majorie Florence Arach from Kamuli Girls Primary School who said, “This day was a direct call and reminder to how much we can achieve if we let girls prosper.” The Motion was seconded by Ricky Ivan Okullo from Agweng Primary School in Lira.
“There is a need for girls to stay in school, we urge government to increase interventions that will enable the girl child to attain their full potential,” Arach said.
The Leader of the Opposition of the debate, Charles Obbo from Kisolo Boy’s Primary School requested government to tighten School Inspection programmes such that education standards are upheld.
He echoed the voice of the other children on the need for government to provide free sanitation pads in schools. “The provision of sanitary pads will prevent girls from missing school and make them focus on studies,” Obbo said
On the same day, the Speaker Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga launched a report titled; “Counting the Invisible, using data to transform the lives of girls and women by 2030.”
The Report intends to track girls’ and women’s progress over the 15-year lifespan of the Global Development Goals. The vision of the report is a world in which improved gender data informs the decisions and investments that can transform the lives of girls and women by 2030.
Hon. Atim Joy Ongom (Lira), said that the majority of girls have failed to complete school because of basic needs like sanitary towels.
“We realize that lack of sanitary towels is the general cause for school dropout. We will convince government to make plans so that more effort is put into availing sanitary towels to every school girl,” she added.
The Country Director Plan International, Rashid Javed, said a total of over 16 million girls are married before the age of 18, and added that over 62 million girls are out of school.
Javed said that Plan International faces a challenge of identifying the actual number of girls who need help and guidance.
“Government should establish a system that can indicate the actual number of girls to make it much easier for programmes to be implemented,” he said.
Kadaga said there will be a national budget appropriation set to cater for the girl child education and their needs.
“A resolution will be presented to Parliament for discussion,” she said.
The International Day of a Girl Child was celebrated by Plan International, an independent development and humanitarian organization which strives to advance children’s rights and equality for girls all over the world.
This year’s theme for the International Day of Girl child was, “Girls take over to Learn, Lead and Thrive.”
The mock debate was attended by Members of Parliament, representation from Civil Society Organizations and children from Kachumbala Primary School, Agweng Primary School, Kamuli Girls Primary School, Kamuli girls College Primary School, Kisolo Primary School and Kampala Parents Primary School.