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Uganda: Karimojong in Uganda advised to educate girls

MOROTO, Uganda, 31 July 2006 - In a bid to promote girl child education in Karamoja, the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI) was launched in Moroto district. This was at the closure of a two day conference on education at Moroto district Council Hall on July 21.

The State Minister for Primary Education, Mr. Peter Lokeris, who was chief guest, called for sensitisation of communities about the importance of educating children.

"I call on all of you to fill the schools with pupils and increase the number of girls attending school," he said. "We must convince the community to take girls to school."

He said Karamoja could only develop through education.

"The key to development in Karamoja is education, so that we can join the rest of the Ugandans in contributing to national development," Lokeris said.

The 'Action for Education' conference supported by UNICEF attracted education and local government officials, members of Parliament from Karamoja region, and representatives of the civil society.

The UNICEF Regional Manager for the eastern region, Mr. Jeremy England, said there is a link between low girl education and maternal and infant mortality rates.

He said educating the girl child would contribute to the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals.

"Karamoja has the lowest level of education and yet has the highest infant and maternal mortality rates. The better the education, the more the awareness these girls have about various public health issues," England said.

He said girls had been generally left out in Karamoja.

"They have not got their rights to education as much as the boy because they are pulled out of school early," he said.

Karamoja has a 12 percent literacy rate compared to 68 per cent national rate and 50.3 per cent of girls and 49.7 percent boys of school going age have never accessed education.


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