Girls miss out on education due to cultural beliefs

By Daudi Zirimala
The ministry of Education and Sports says that many girls have not benefited from government programmes educating every child in Uganda because of the cultural beliefs and perceptions.

Speaking during the national Symposium on Girl Education in Uganda which runs under the theme, ‘Reflecting on the gains and setting the agenda for girls Education’, the state minister for Higher Education DR.JC Muyingo many people are still have cultural beliefs that women are meant to get married and start producing children which has denied many girls chance to be educated.

Muyingo says that government wants more girls entering university and tap into professions like ICT, Engineering, Law among others but many of them are deterred from joing university due to cultural belief which he says should be reverted.

The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) reported that more than 700,000 girls in Uganda between the ages of six to 12 have never attended school. In fact, around half of girls between the ages of 15 to 24 are illiterate and four in five girls do not attend high school.

A large contributor to low female literacy rates and school attendance rates is that up to 40 percent of girls in Uganda are married before the age of 18.

Around 10 percent of these girls are married before the age of 15. Around 35 percent of girls drop out due to marriage and 23 percent drop out due to pregnancy. In contrast, allowing girls to continue through secondary education significantly reduces the chances of early marriage and childbearing.