By George Emuron
BUKEDEA: A total of eighteen teenage mothers are currently sitting for this year’s Uganda Certificate of Education Examinations -UCE in Bukedea district.
The teenage mothers are students of Bukedea secondary school, Kolir comprehensive and St. Theresa secondary school among other schools.
Nine of them are breast- feeding mothers while and the nine are expectant mothers.
Bukedea district registered 1,956 candidates for this year’s UCE.
Stephen Okurut, the district acting education officer said the teenagers conceived while at school.
“As guided by the school rules and regulations, we asked these girls to come back for exams and as per now, nine are breast feeding mothers and nine are due to give birth”, said Mr. Okurut.
Mr. Okurut also revealed that about seventeen candidates have gone missing after turning up for the exercise for the first two days.
“We were also shocked to learn that some of the candidates failed to turn up for the exams after appearing for some days, as the education department were are still trying our best to discover their whereabouts”, said Mr. Okurut.
In an interview, some of the caretakers to the teenager who prefered anonymity revealed that most of the expectant teenagers are single mothers.
“Most of their husbands are at large, so we act like their husbands, which is a big burden”, said one of the caretaker mothers.
Florence Amidiong, the officer in charge child and protection unit at Bukedea central police station recently revealed that the cases of teenage mothers are alarming in the district adding most of the young girls are impregnated and dumped by their husbands.
“We receive such cases on daily bases, parents and girls try to seek help or support from in- laws”, said Ms. Amidiong.