About 3000 parents in Ngororero district risk paying heavy fines after failing to maintain their children in school.
A survey conducted by members of Parliament in Ngororero district in Western province last week found that out of 7395 children who were enrolled in June this year, 2992 had dropped out of school.
The legislators said that parents have been reluctant to send the children back to school but instead subjected them to child labour.
Annoncee Manirarora- a Member of Parliament who led a team of MPs that conducted the survey told Kigali Today that there is still an issue of carelessness in matters to do with child protection in the district.
The survey was concluded last week at a time the family law was published.
Justice Minister Johnston Busingye told KT Press that the law provides punishments for careless parents who do not educate or take care of their children.
The new revised Law Nº32/2016 of 28/08/2016 governing persons and family in its article 203 on ‘obligation to cater for and educate children’ indicate that by marriage, spouses are obliged to cater for and educate their children based on Rwandan cultural values.
The law stipulates that if one of the spouses does not comply with this obligation, the other spouse or any interested person may file a lawsuit against him/her.
District councils in every district reserve the right to provide for specific punishment to every parent who fails to send back children to school.
In Ngororero, a parent is fined Rwf 50,000 for a school dropout, while anyone involved in child labour is fined with Rwf 100,000.
Meanwhile, most children involved in child labour in Ngorerorero district work in tea plantations, mining sites, and grazing animals.
Gender and Family promotion Minister, Dr. Diane Gashumba has promised to ensure no Rwandan children are seen on streets.
Government is concerned about incidences of school dropouts across the country ; In April this year, President Kagame directed that every Rwandan child should go to school for the country to prosper. The President warned that there will be consequences to those who do not protect children rights.
The President who was in Kayonza district, Eastern Rwanda to lead a monthly community work (Umuganda)said that every child, whether he/she has parents or not, should be in school as a matter of priority.
In the next two months following President Kagame’s warning, Eastern Province announced that more than 24, 092 children who had dropped out of school were taken back and resumed studies.