The quest to keep girls in school in the wake of the threat of early marriages has prompted child rights activists to step up efforts to curb the growing vice.
Under the Girls Not Brides Alliance, the activists contend that the numbers of girls pushed into early marriages has grossly affected the retention levels in schools.
According to a report by 2013 African Human Development report by UNICEF, World Bank and the World Health Organisation, almost 2 million Ugandan minors are forced or lured into early marriages.
The report also ranks Uganda 11th among the 15 worst African countries with high numbers of child brides standing at 46% of underage girls below 18 forced or lured in marriage.
Speaking at a national dialogue on creating conducive learning environment for girls in schools, the chief executive of the Coalition of Uganda Private School Teachers Association Kaboyo Patrick notes that in spite of several efforts to keep girls in schools, this has been hindered by resistance from the communities they live in.
The Executive Director of Joy for Children, Moses Ntenga says young girls in child marriages are subjected to several health complications, which may in the long run affect their productivity.
Yvonne Laruni, a Program officer at Raising Voices says mechanisms to monitor cases of sexual violence against girls, which discourage them to stay in school, need to be scaled up by government.