Gender Gender

‘Child labour resulting in school drop- outs’

LUKULU District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Alan Mukata has attributed the high dropout levels in the district to child labour and forced marriages.
Mr Mukata said in an interview that some parents force their children to work on farms when schools close to raise money for domestic purpose.
“Some children do not return even when schools open, this has resulted in a number of them[children] dropping out of schools and in the process end up getting married because they feel they have enough money to settle down with families,” Mr Mukata said.
He said his office in collaboration with schools in the district have since embarked on sensitising children, parents and farm owners on the importance of education and ensuring that child labour is eliminated in the area.
He said in the cases of child and forced marriages, it is disheartening that some parents and guardians are the ones in the forefront of encouraging young girls to go into marriage at the expense of their education.
“A week ago we received a report that two girls aged 14 and 16 were married off by their parents, we are still investigating and trying to locate where these girls are so that necessary steps can be taken,” he said.
Mr Mukata said various stakeholders in the district have now resorted to fining parents who perpetrate early marriages.
He said education is an important investment but it is regrettable that some parents do not realise its importance.

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