HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DISTRICT STAKEHOLDERS MEETING IN KYARUSOZI SUB COUNTY 12TH JUNE 2014
The stakeholders meeting was organized by RIDE Africa and it took place on 12th June 2014 at Kyarusozi hall in Kyarusozi sub county Kyenjojo District. It was attended by the DEO Kyenjojo represented by Area Inspector of schools Ms Kakyo Rose Mary, DCDO (represented), Probation officer, Sub county chief- Mr. Businge Earnerst, Town Clerk, sub county CDOs, LC III chairperson, Mayor, Councillors, head teachers, parents, human rights ambassadors, CPFs, Monitors and opinion leaders from the 02 sub counties of Kyarusozi and Kyarusozi Town Council, RWECO and RIDE Africa staff. In total the meeting attracted about 130 participants.
The purpose of the meeting was to share the findings of the monitoring visits by RIDE Africa staff and monitors conducted in schools in Kyarusozi and Kyarusozi Town Council and the possible recommendations. It was also meant to seek commitment from the stakeholders on how best to improve academic performance of the pupils in the various primary schools in the two sub counties. At the end of the training participants came up with resolution and action points which the leaders pledged to follow up on with the support of the monitors.
He appreciated RIDE Africa for the good work in the District and Kyarusozi Sub County in particular in supporting the education sector. He said that children are crucial for the development of any area thus they need to be educated if they are to transform into better and responsible citizens of Uganda. If children are not educated and protected, families and communities perish. He posed a question to stakeholders present in the meeting that have we done the needful to the children? He hinted on SMCs, PTAs, parents and local leaders’ role in educating children. He further hinted defilement and early marriages being on the increase in Kyenjojo District and gave an example of Kyarusozi secondary school where there was a lot of school drop outs due to pregnancy where girls between the age of 11-13 years conceive.
Remarks by the Mayor Kyarusozi Town Council
He said that child protection was key in the development of the child thus called for the active participation of all stakeholders. He emphasised the need for parents, guardians and leaders to ensure children access basic necessities of life which include; feeding, health, education and decent shelter. He said there is need to plan for restoration of hope to survivors of abuse through including them in enjoying their lost hopes and he declared the workshop open.
The ED Mr Rukidi Sam welcomed all members to the meeting and highlighted the work of RIDE Africa in the Region which included; Human rights advocacy, democracy and good governance, HIV/AIDS care and support, Gender and Development, Research and Documentation as well as ICT. He re-echoed the need to fight defilement which was rampant in the District and Country at large. He informed participants that in 2012 RIDE Africa held a dialogue meeting in Kasunga and it was discovered that bad governance in schools was a major determinant of poor performance in schools.
He emphasised that defilement was one reason why RIDE Africa intervened in Kyarusozi Sub County since it abuses the rights of the girl child and undermines her dignity. He said that parents were partially responsible for early marriages; they connive with the defilers and hide necessary information about the defiled girls from the police and they extract money from the defilers. He further said that parents and guardians had failed to provide food to pupils at school a factor leading to poor learning especially in the afternoons and consequently leading to poor academic performance of pupils. He called upon parents to protect their children against all forms of abuse, emphasised parents to park lunch for their children at school and instil discipline to the pupils. The sub county leadership was advised to lobby NGOs and government to support civic education initiatives to fight defilement, early pregnancy and marriages.
Presentation by RIDE Africa
COMMITMENTS AND RESOLUTIONS BY PARTICIPANTS IN KYARUSOZI SUBOUNTY AT KYARUSOZI SOCIAL Hall 12th June 2014
We the participants in the Kyarusozi Education conference held in Kyarusozi sub county, Kyenjojo District at Kyarusozi Parish hall on 12th June 2014 confirm and by consensus agree that the facts and information presented during the conference reflect the children rights and Education needs of Kyarusozi sub county and Kyarusozi town council,
Aware of the need to improve quality of education and children rights which are directly related and influence each another, appreciating the need to act to improve the quality of education, recognizing the potential and endowments that exist and can facilitate change, here by commit ourselves and resolve that;
1. Children Rights and improving the quality of education become a priority for everyone and all development partners in Kyarusozi Sub County.
2. The sub county leadership and the head teachers prioritize creating awareness on parents’ role and responsibility in the education of their children.
3. All stakeholders combine effort to curb down absenteeism and school drop out by pupils.
4. A bi-law is necessary that will help enforce observation of the right to education.
5. The people of Kyarusozi sub county not to allow children to work in their plantations during school days.
6. Conduct community meetings in villages, schools and churches to sensitize parents and other stakeholders on the importance of education.
7. The sub county leadership to develop a road map that will clearly show the targets, milestones and actions for better quality education.
8. All leaders work together to ensure that Children rights are promoted and protected, as well as monitor income generating projects in schools.
9. The office of the DEO, sub county chairperson and Mayor assume the responsibility to monitor and follow-up on all the commitments made in this conference.
10. All elected leaders take the political responsibility for the quality of better service delivery