Butaleja. The school dropout rate in Butaleja District has risen from 45 per cent to 70 per cent in the last four years, new statistics have revealed.
According to statistics from the district education department, school dropout rate in upper primary is between 60 and 70 per cent, while the dropout rate in lower primary is at 10 per cent. An assessment conducted by the education department shows that school dropout rate rose significantly after most parents failed to provide food and other necessities for their children.
The drop is also being attributed to other factors including parents who marry off their young daughters, hunger, poor learning environment and lack of food support, among others.
The district education officer, Mr Phillip Kalyebbi, while releasing the statistics on Monday told Daily Monitor: “The school dropout rate in the district is alarming. We need to do something to solve this.”
He added that while inspecting schools on Monday [February 29], he found schools with less than 20 children.
The Butaleja assistant chief administrative officer, Mr Abdu Waweyo, attributed the dropout rates to casual labour, saying: “Most parents send their children to scare away birds from rice fields instead of sending them to school.”
He said there is need to join hands with all stakeholders to forge a way forward.
Last year, the district leaders launched a campaign dubbed “Back to School” to ensure all children of school going age are enrolled in schools.
Uganda has the highest number of school dropout rate in East Africa, according to a 2010 report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).