Absenteeism is a major cause for failure and poor performance in schools at all levels of learning especially those in villages. As a strategy to stop extensive absenteeism and school drop outs with no clear reasons, the government has organized an intensive operation aimed at arresting all children who stay at home during school times along with their parents. Officials have come in to arrest pupils and parents who keep children at home for business and domestic activities. The arrest started on 23rd June 2017 in Palisa district Eastern Uganda and 27 children including 26 primary school pupils and 1 secondary school student have been so far arrested together with their parents.
Of the 27 children arrested, 26 were primary school pupils from St john Kacherebuya and Odusai primary schools where as 1 student from Good shepherd secondary school both under the programs of Universal Primary education (UPE) and universal secondary education (USE) respectively. Both victims had no clear reasons for not being at school that time. According to the government, every parent should write a note as to why a child has missed s school on a specific day and submit it to the respective school. It has been realized that schools under universal primary education and universal secondary educations are the ones facing high school dropouts and absenteeism yet with no clear reasons to defend themselves.
During the arrest, Parents mostly for primary school pupils were found responsible for their children’s absenteeism. This was realized when most pupils reported that they miss school for lack of scholastic materials which should be provided by their parents. More still, children miss school to do domestic activities such as cooking and baby-sitting for their mothers. Also, children were found of missing school to do other businesses for their parents. This has therefore forced government officials to impose tough measures against parents who have contributed to the failure of their children. Absenteeism has presently become a habit, which has continuously demotivated teachers especially in U.P.E and U.S.E despite their willingness to teach.
Additionally, young girls who drop out of schools have been and are still being married off by their parents at attender age for bride wealth. This has worsened the lives of these young girls associated with high poverty levels. From the analysis conducted in Palisa district, approximately 52% of young girls in the region are married off at tender age.
More still, the negative perception of most parents in villages towards education makes them stop their children from going to school. Most parents in the local villages of Palisa district look at their daughters as assets for bride wealth, they therefore marry them off at a tender age to get paid hence dropping them out of schools.
Likewise, failure by the government officials to monitor and supervise the performance of these schools is another cause of poor performance in government schools. This has therefore called upon responsible government officials to continuously check out these schools to keep relevant updates.
Conclusively therefore, quality education is a right for every child and a responsibility for all parents. Strategies should be put to ensure best performance in both private and government schools in all parts of the country.