The government is at loggerheads with the Church of Uganda over the latter’s decision to block pregnant girls from reporting to school.
Government says that the church is doing this in ignorance of the position of the Ministry of Education on the issue at hand. This follows calls made by the Bishop of Mukono Diocese, Rt. Rev James William Ssebagala, directing teachers in all Church of Uganda founded schools to block pregnant breasting girls from schools.
Speaking at an interview at the Uganda Media Centre, the State Minister for Higher Education, John Chrysostom Muyingo, noted that learners, pregnant or not should be accepted to return to school.
“The government is saying each and every child should be helped to go to school and complete his or her programme. That is the policy and there are good reasons why the government came up with that policy. These children are our wealth and gold,” Mr. Muyingo said.
“Whenever we have the opportunities to educate them and skill them, we are adding value to their lives and Uganda as a whole. So, anybody who is trying to talk against the policy, my understanding is that they have not understood that there are accidents in this world.”
He added. “…What I understand is the he is my bishop where I happen to stay. I am planning to pay him a visit so that we share and exchange ideas. I am sure once they have understood, they will help us and implement the government policy.”
Bishop Ssebagala not only suffered backlash from the powers that be but also took some strays from social media.
“Infact school policies should be reformed to be more accommodative to such girls most of whom are survivors of sexual abuse. Don’t magnify barriers to young mothers attaining education which is a right for all and not a privilege. Some men of God read the backs of their Bibles.”