The Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, Anita Annet Among, has rejected a proposal to create a special fund for the government to pay school fees for teenage mothers who dropped out of school.
The Speaker reasons that the government doesn’t have enough funds for such expenditure. She recommended that a skilling program be established to address the challenges teenage mothers are facing.
“Don’t expect that the government is going to pay school fees for you because you decided to get out of school and start producing too early. I mean, the government doesn’t have money,” Among, who recently produced twin babies, said in Parliament.
“You are the ones who appropriate, tell me, do you have money for that?” asked the MPs before ruling that ‘we can’t have a special fund for that’ before the MPs responded.
The Speaker’s remarks were a response to a concern raised by Agnes Taaka (Bugiri DWR) who was reacting to a statement tabled by the Ministry of Gender, ahead of Uganda’s commemoration of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.
Taaka was decrying the high levels of teenage pregnancies in Bugiri districts. In her submission, Taaka asked the government to put up a fund to enable these girls to return to school.
Taaka explained that these teenage mothers are chased away from home by their parents. This, she said, curtails their return to school because they cannot afford the fees asked by schools, including Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education schools.