Are we really creating a digital generation free from exclusion ??

ikirimat
Posted November 18, 2021 from Uganda

Women Our Roots-AWOR conducted a focus group discussion with 10 girls between the age of 13 and 18 years who are school-going age was to ascertain the effects of digitalization to their learning during the lockdown caused by COVID19 . The theme for International Girl Child 2021 celebration was Digital generation, Our generation.

The girls’ statements:

  • Aguti Phoebe Mercy a senior three student of Municipal S.S decried how the digital process has disadvantaged her education. Her school is conducting online classes which requires a smartphone or computer but her mother cannot afford one.  She said sometimes misses lessons and yet she is transitioning to senior four when schools reopen. She added that sometimes, she is forced to borrow smartphones from male friends in her neighborhood who ask for sexual- favors in return as a way of payment which makes it a big obstacle to learning.
  • Adong Edith Joanita who is currently in primary seven shared with the group that her elder sister acquired a smartphone but cannot afford to purchase data bundles for internet to attend the ongoing online studies.
  • Ameso Teddy a senior one student disclosed that she stays in the village with her grandmother but studies in a nearby town however due to high levels of poverty she has completely failed to attend online studies because she is unable to access/buy a smartphone to attend online classes which she believes has left her lagging behind while other students are studying.
  • ‘We don’t want to be left behind, but the new normal seems not to be in favor of us and our future. We need to be supported’. Dorah exclaimed

AWOR has continued to speak out for equality in education for both boys and girls. Much as online classes are ongoing in some schools, the government, NGOs and school management should provide notes/reading material for students who cannot access smartphones to prevent young girls from accepting sexual advances from men in exchange for smartphones to attend online classes.  This is one of the drivers of teenage pregnancies and STIs infections among teenage girls.

Comments 7

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rebecca.tang
Nov 18
Nov 18

Thank you for sharing. Your work is very meaning and can help a lot of girls. Everyone should have equality to have education regardless of gender, races, disables, etc. Also, sex education to young girls is also important.
Please keep the great work on!
May Almighty God bless you, your organization and all young girls in your country!

ikirimat
Nov 18
Nov 18

So true. The underlying messages we give the girls is to empower them on decision making regarding their sexuality. But its so true that vulnerabilities are so much.

Desire KASOLE
Nov 19
Nov 19

C'EST UN DOMAGE A TOUTES CES FILLES AGEES DE 13 ANS _18 ANS ET NOUS DEVONS a continué à défendre l'égalité dans l'éducation pour les garçons et les filles. Ici, comme les cours sont en ligne sont en cours dans certaines écoles, le gouvernement, les ONG et la direction de l'école devraient fournir des notes/du matériel de lecture aux élèves qui ne peuvent pas accéder aux smartphones afin d'empêcher les jeunes filles d'accepter les avances sexuelles des hommes en échange de téléphones intelligents pour suivre les cours en ligne. C'est l'un des moteurs des grossesses chez les adolescentes et des infections aux IST chez les adolescentes. OUI, c'est encore un défi.
Désiré KASOLE

ikirimat
Nov 19
Nov 19

Thank you for your comments

Rahmana Karuna
Nov 21
Nov 21

thank you so much for this story. i just didn't know what to say. how to respond. until this morning, 2 days after reading this. i looked up cell phone donations. and there are many many links. it would be wonderful to have donated cells. is there wifi around? so no $ needed to use.
this is just so sad.

ikirimat
Nov 21
Nov 21

thank you Rahmana. Do you have links for those who can donate to Uganda? Kindly share on my email or inbox [email protected]. Thank you for caring.

Grace Iliya
Nov 22
Nov 22

Your organization is doing a lot. These are very important issues and girls from low income homes are sometimes vulnerable to accepting such favors, even boys too. The gap has to continue being bridged. Thank you for the great work.

Much love