Girls in Kabweri Primary School have dropped out of school as a result of lack of privacy during menstruation periods.
A total of 15 girls in Kabweri Primary School in Kibuku district have dropped out of school as a result of lack of privacy during lessons on how to use sanitary pads during menstruation periods.
According to the head teacher of the school, Margaret Namwenge, the school does not have a changing room for the girls and this has impacted on them when they want to use pads.
As a result, the senior teacher uses the Primary One (P1) classroom – after the pupils have left in the afternoon – to counsel the girls on the proper use of the sanitary pads.
The school head appealed to MPs to advocate for more funds towards the construction of a changing room for girls to prevent more from dropping out of school.
"We are supposed to have privacy with the girls when we show them how to use pads but they have been stigmatized by some boys who peep at them," Namwenge told MPs of the parliamentary forum on water, sanitation and hygiene.
The legislators were on field tour to assess the implementation of the water, sanitation and hygiene program in schools.
District education officials and members of the civil society were also on the tour.
The field visit was organized by Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group in partnership with Build Africa, Network for water and Sanitation Uganda and Water Aid Uganda aimed at providing lawmakers with information on the ground to enable them advocate for increased financing for water, sanitation and hygiene programmes in schools.
Edith Nawederake, a teacher at the school, said the boys keep telling the girls that they are now mature girls ready for marriage, saying this has stigmatized many girls.
Efforts are ongoing at the school to sensitize the pupils about menstruation – and how it is normal for girls to go through that. Out of the 1405 pupils at the school, 775 are girls.
Sarah Wenene the Woman MP for Kibuku was shocked by the “terrible” and called on district leaders and the education ministry to address the matter.
Christopher Wamika, senior education officer, told the MPs that the resource envelope was small and therefore his office cannot do much. He appealed to legislators to advocate for more funding.
The MPs who were on the field tour included Jacob Opolot (Pallisa) Julius Maganda (Samia Bugwe), David Muhumuza (Mwenge) and Waira Majegere (Bunya East).