Bugesera district officials in partnership with the community policing department have started a campaign aimed at sensitising parents and communities in general to send their children to school.
The awareness stems from cases of dropouts reported in some primary schools in the district.
At least 40 pupils of PEFA located in Kanazi Cell of Nyamata Sector, didn’t turn up for this term.
Last week, local leaders held a meeting with parents of the affected pupils, reminding them of their “obligation” to ensure that children acquire education as their right.
The campaign was also extended to the pupils of PEFA, urging them to stay focused to their education dream, and to demand their rights by reporting to police and local leaders, if they are violated.
“During our interaction, we found out that the dropouts are due to the negligence of parents, who engage their children into other activities, and out of ignorance, don’t mind if their children go to school or not,” Cyprien Uwitonze, the district community liaison officer, said.
“Some of these children have been engaged in child-labour activities like collecting scrap. So, this specific campaign aims at fighting two things; school dropout and child labour where we remind parents to responsibly fulfill their obligations, but also urge the children in schools to prioritize education, refrain from any illegal activities and instill the ideal of community policing,” Uwitonze said.
“Ultimately, this also serves to prevent crimes that are likely to be committed by these young people like drug abuse, theft as well as early pregnancies and young parents.
“Although cases of school dropouts and child labour in particular are very few, we treat even a single case as serious and a violation of the rights of the child and denying him or her better future.”
Article 10 of the law relating to the Rights and Protection of the Child Against Violence, partly states that “the child has a right to education.”
In ratifying these and other international legal instruments particularly on education, including achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Government adopted universal primary and secondary education under the 12-Year-Education Programme.
Albert Iragena, the in-charge of pre-primary and primary education in Bugesera, said that in partnership with Police, they established children who had dropped out have since gone back to school.
Iragena appealed to parents and guardians to take their children to school and to maximise the free-education to pave way for the better future of the young ones and the country in general.