Letting girls fulfil their potential
The students from Buddo are working to spread this information to other students.
“Empower the girl / To read to the end / A child cannot be a mother to a child,” they said in their poem, which won a top award at last year’s festival. The school went on to win top marks at this year’s competition as well.
“Let girls be girls,” said Dr. Rose Nassali-Lukwago, the Permanent Secretary of the education ministry, after hearing the Buddo students’ recital. “Give them time and space to exploit their potential.”
Educate the girls for the life that is worthy
Plan for your family for the life that is worthy
Save for the future for the life that is worthy
And love your country for the life that is worthy
“Girls can do anything they want to do”
In the lead-up to the festival, the Ministry of Education and UNFPA trained over 100 teachers on the issue of teenage pregnancy, including factors such as child marriage, and solutions such as access to age-appropriate information and sexual and reproductive health care. The teachers discussed the impact of pregnancy on individual girls and on the country’s socio-economic development. They also learned about communicating these messages through traditional folk songs, folk dance, plays, poems, speeches and other art forms.
These 100 teachers in turn conducted teacher trainings at the regional level. The teachers then worked with students to incorporate this information into music, art and dramas for the annual festival.
“I learned that I have to work hard. I must not get distracted or drop out of school,” said 18-year-old Sharon Mangi, from Buddo Secondary School. “I also learned that girls can do anything they want to do.”
UNFPA is currently working with the Ministry of Education and the National Curriculum Development Centre to bring culturally acceptable and age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education to schools.