The impact of local cultural beliffs on children’s legal right to education: A case study of Nabwigulu subcounty, Kamuli District
Namazzi, Judith Tumusiime
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Kamuli district of Uganda forms part of the Busoga region. The Basoga have much respect for their culture: cultural leaders, considered to be the prime guardians of local norms and customs, and protectors of peoples’ rights, provide one of the pillars of local society . In spite of State interventions and traditional African values which “placed children at the hub of the family and community existence” , denial of children’s legal right to education including denial of school fees, a poor study environment, too many household chores and early marriages of children by their parents or guardians does exist in Kamuli mainly influenced by the local cultural beliefs . This study sets out to assess the extent to which the local cultural beliefs impact on children’s legal right to education in Nabwigulu Sub County, Kamuli district of Uganda. Particularly it sought to answer the following questions: How efficacious are Uganda‘s current laws and policies in protecting children’s right to education? In what ways do the local cultural beliefs affect children’s right to education? What interventions has the State put in place to ensure children’s right to Education in the study area? The researcher found out that many children have dropped out of school as a result of early marriages, not attending school regularly and a poor study environment. The State has intervened by providing Universal Primary Education but this has not ensured the legal Right of Compulsory Education of all children. It was concluded, among others, that the existing legal and policy framework governing children, culture and the right to education does not fully address the unique needs of the rural vulnerable child. This is because rural parents, guardians and care givers have much respect for their culture in exclusion of the law and humanity. They are ignorant and adamant to accept this legal and policy framework and its implementation has been left in the law books. This as a result, has negatively affected children’s right to education. State intervention has not been adequate to ensure Children’s Right to Education.