Uganda hit the highest teenage pregnancy rate in East Africa in 2022. According to UNICEF the pregnancy rate is at 25%. The misfortune of that, is a good number are teenagers of the age range 13 to 19 years of age. Alot has emerged regarding parents detachment from disciplining their children and it was clear during COVID lockdowns; many parents yearned for schools to open instead of taking the opportunity to get close and mentor their children.
Mentoring the children during the prolonged holiday did not happen. Instead more than ever children were exposed to sexual engagements. For girls and some boys – tokens of appreciation were the bait used. The outcome is many girls dropping out of school and some boys who had to take responsibility or experience sexual ruin.
However, the emergence of a sexually active group of children returned to school. The current scenario is an outbreak of unguided sexual acts in schools. Some teacher too, are party to this outbreak given the fact that they have a leading spot on the list of defilers. Meanwhile back at home incest emerged as well during Covid, and has continued to feature post Covid.
Fathers, Uncles and even siblings are involved in acts of defilement alongside the house helps. This leaves the Uganda child in limbo and dire need of guidance as well as psychosocial support. Amidst the triad of potential sexual abuse or initiations by adults at home, in school and even in the community.
Traditionally sex education was left to aunties and uncles as well as age sets initiations. It was a taboo to talk about sex. Today sex is on the internet, on phones, in the media and even in cartoons presented on television; children have not been left behind in the flow of soft and hard pornography.
The silence about sex and its consequences therefore is a curse in itself as children are led into the act without clarity of the doom it may hold for their future. Science Classes and Biology classes are not enough to clarify on the pros and cons of sex. These classes barely touch the ovulation lust or the male wet quest; they mostly discuss the reproductive organs. If there is a better time to talk to the children more deeply – it would be now.