Bishop Ssebagala passed on a message to teachers on Saturday at St Paul Church Kanjuki in Kayunga District as well as bidding farewell to his fellow Christians ahead of his retirement.
The bishop gave a directive to the teachers from the church of Uganda to block pregnant and breastfeeding mothers from partaking classes.
However, his directives contradicts with the statement that was passed on by the Ministry of Health to allow pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to get lessons. This brings a debate on who should be listened to:
His argument was that the parents of pregnant mothers should be a helping hand to nurture their unborn babies until they give birth rather than being inconvenienced with school in their condition.
“All headteachers, I want to tell you that we shall not allow pregnant or breastfeeding girls in class. When all girls turn up, carry out the usual medical examination so that those found pregnant can go back and give birth; they will come back after giving birth,” Bishop Ssebagala said.
“Imagine someone saying even breastfeeding ones should be allowed to attend class. No, this we shall not accept because our schools were started purposely not only to impart knowledge but also discipline in children. How can a teacher be teaching when a girl is giving breasts to her child?” he added.
The State minister for higher education Mr. John Chrysostom Muyingo was in disagreement with the Bishop’s idea hence remarking that the government gave its directive allowing all children inclusive of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to go back to school.
“It seems my friend the bishop doesn’t know the position of government. I will go to his office and talk to him, I know he will understand my explanation and change his position,” Mr. Muyingo said.
The argument was heated more with the Kayunga District Education Officer Ms. Alice as she offered to educate school foundation bodies about the government position on pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
“We are, however, not aware if there are such girls who are pregnant or breastfeeding that would like to go back to school,” Ms. Dhoya said.