Pupils and teachers in Gulu District are undergoing one-week-long psychosocial support as schools reopen. The psychosocial support is being carried out by selected teachers trained prior to the school reopening.
It is aimed at addressing discrimination and stigma against pregnant girls and child mothers, how to adapt to the new normal while in school, as well as guidance and counseling and special needs handling for the teachers.
Joyce Okee Otim, the Headmistress of Awach P.7 School in Awach Sub –County says much as they had not yet registered any pregnant girl or child mother, all the 141 pupils who reported to school on Monday and Tuesday are undergoing psychosocial support.
Okee revealed that in the week-long program, they intend to talk to the pupils to abolish the lifestyles they had while at home for the 22 months when schools were closed but adapt to the new normal.
Hellen Rose Abwoyo, the Headmistress of Unyama Primary School says that the teachers are already undergoing guidance and counseling and special needs training.
She said when the learners report on Tuesday, they will be taken through the psychosocial support program.
Winnifred Lawino, a parent at Unyama Primary School says the initiative to support the pregnant girls and child mothers to stay in school is good but that the challenge may arise when the boys responsible for the pregnancies stop them from resuming studies.
According to Lawino, the pregnant girls and child mothers should either be separated from the rest of the learners or be advised to go for skilled training like tailoring among others.
Meanwhile, as schools resume, there is a general low turn up of learners to schools on the first and second days.
Geoffrey Okaka, the Gulu District Chief Administration Officer says learners’ turn up is at 5 percent compared to 95 percent of the teachers.
Okaka appealed to the local leaders to rally parents to send their children to school.