At least 50% of the children enrolled in schools in Karamoja sub–region have dropped out before the end of the first academic term. A survey carried out by New Vision indicated a sharp fall in the retention of pupils in the region. Head–teachers in the region attributed the increased dropout to the parents who have left their responsibility to schools. “Our parents do not bother about the presence of their children in school” a teacher from Kaabong District observed.
The rate of school dropout in Karamoja region has reached alarming proportions. Despite the fact that government is promoting education through various programs many children are increasingly dropping out of school. A teacher from Kaabong District noted that most school dropouts he interacts with claim gold mining is a lucrative business, making it hard to convince them to continue with education. The dropout rates are also attributed to the drought affecting Karamoja. During such hard times, children stay at home to look after animals and search for water.
Atasoma Kapilan Bar Women’s group (a group nurtured by UWONET) in Kaabong District, organized a mass sensitization campaign code named “Back to School” to encourage children in the district to go back to school. “We need a generation that looks at things differently and we will only get that if they go to school” the group Chairperson noted. The group members organized community sensitization meetings across the district at Parish level to educate parents and children on the importance of education to the development of the region