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Uganda: Sebei, Karamoja girls leave school over circumcision

Girls abandon school after forced circumcision.

Rose Chebet, a resident of Kaserem Parish in Kaserem Sub-county in Kapchorwa District, dropped out of school because she had to flee her home, fearing that she would be circumcised. She said she could not access formal education when she went into hiding and was forced to return to her village to resumed her education.

Forced circumcision

“When I returned home, my parents started harassing me. They forced me to be circumcised. I was older then and I was not comfortable at school and I abandoned school,” Chebet said. She dropped out of school in Primary Six after her circumcision.

Chebet said she wants to enroll in a vocational school to get some skills on how to earn a living but she does not have money for school fees. Mr James Cherop, the head teacher of a private primary school in Kaserem Sub- County, expressed concern over the high number of girls who drop out of school due to female circumcision.

He said most girls are forced to get married after circumcision. Pokot girls in Amudat District are also facing the same plight. However, the Amudat District Chairman, Mr William Bwatum, said there is a reduction in the practice in the district due to the introduction of laws against the practice and the interventions of the non-governmental organisations.

Hope

However, girls like Chebet can now have some hope after The Inter African Committee, Uganda (IACU), an NGO fighting female circumcision in Sebei sub-region and Karamoja, announced a plan to build four vocational schools for girls who have dropped out of primary school due to female circumcision.
Ms Linda Osereren, a senior programme officer with the NGO, said the vocational schools will be built in Kapchorwa, Kween, Bukwo and Amudat districts.
She said the vocational institutes will also cater for vulnerable boys.

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