SOME 67 girl students were impregnated in Biharamulo and Ngara districts between March-June, last year, when Covid-19 pandemic was at its peak forcing schools to close.
Biharamulo District Education Officer (Academic) Mr Boaz Kamugisha said out of the number 32 were in secondary schools (two among them in Forms Five and Six) and thereafter automatically expelled from studies.
Out of the number, 30 were from Primary and Secondary schools in Ngara District according to Ngara District Education Officer (Academic), Mr Enock Ntakiligaye, adding that the number increased to 35 by August 4th, last year.
"This is a big concern. We had never witnessed such a big number of girl students becoming pregnant within such a short period. Out of the number, seven pupils were attending primary school, while 28 students were attending secondary school," Mr Ntakiligaye said.
However, he warned that the government would pay a particular attention to discourage the culture and take stern measures against the culprits.
Equally, he appealed to Kagera region residents to collectively fight against outdated laws, customs and practice, which keep millions of women in the society away from improving in education, saying that they are also constitutionally guaranteed rights in the country.
In the analysis impregnating a student is considered as rape and forms part of gender- based violence (GBV) against women and children. It constitutes a breach of their fundamental right to life, liberty, security, and dignity.
Gender-based violence includes domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence during conflict and harmful customary or traditional practices such as female genital mutilation and forced marriages.