In some cases, I interact with pupils from various grades and I am interested to hear them read something. At times, it is difficult for even those in grades 7 or 9 to read and it is always a cheer when one in grade 4 volunteers to read and reads well. I will not forget the weekly boarders who, during weekends, travel home sometimes half a day’s walk to get their weekly food supply. Banabahesu, these are encounters that keep me asking why should it be like this in our situation! In the midst of all these challenges, one at times finds some determined young girl or boy who desires to complete their education and become a doctor or someone important in society.
I am reminded of young Karen Kalukango who is in grade 6 and decided to write her name on her exercise book as Dr. Karen Kalukango. Impressive! This is a sign of hope that despite the many challenges pupils go through in rural areas, an eye for the future is seen. I promised to continue checking on her every time so that her dream is not extinguished.
My other encounters are those I have with young mothers. These are very young girls who are supposed to be in school yet most of them are either married or having children with no hope or desire of ever getting back to school. The future of our rural places will always remain a challenge since we do not have many people who finish school and are therefore not able to think of developing their places. When you ask why they getting married at such age, you get various answers. The common one is: we are grown up and it is time to get married. Traditionally, when they say they are grown up, they know what it means to naturally grow up. In our world today especially in rural areas, there is competition to see who gets married first and who has a child first. The second response is we are old enough. Why should I not get married or not have a child since my peers are married or have children. Once in a while you will find someone who says I dropped out of school and got married because I had no support to see me through. Well, we have been talking of the girl child and the question of marriage.