Violence Against Pupils Drops in Luweero Schools

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In short
According to the study conducted in 42 schools by Raising Voices, a Non-governmental organisation, using corporal and other violent forms as punishment towards pupils from school staff had dropped to 42 from 90 recorded in 2012.

Physical violence as punishment against pupils in schools has drastically reduced in Luweero district, a new study has revealed.
 
According to the study conducted in 42 schools by Raising Voices, a Non-governmental organisation, using corporal and other violent forms as punishment towards pupils from school staff had dropped to 42% from 90% recorded in 2012.
 
In the study, the pupils were asked whether a school staff had caused pain, slapped, hit them by throwing objects, hit them with stick, kicked, burnt, taken away food among others as punishment towards them.
 
The report released on Thursday at Bwayo Guest House in Luweero town indicates that from the responses, caning was still the most common act of physical violence towards pupils.
 
The report recommended the alternative punishments as positive discipline in punishing a pupil who had erred.
 
Hassan Mulusi, the programme officer at Raising Voices says that although there was change due to sensitisation among stakeholders, much should be done to zero percent tolerance to violence.
 
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A URN reporter engaged some pupils in primary schools that include Nalongo C/U, St Kizito Bukolwa, Buzibwera C/U, Tweyanze and Bombo Common primary school who agreed with the report that violence against them had reduced.
 
Shivan Lunkuse, a pupil at St Kizito Bukolwa Primary School said that caning made her to lose interest in education until when she reported the matter to the head teacher who responded by abolishing such punishments at the school.
 
Olivia Namuganyi Beatrice listed the source of beatings as fights among pupils, noise-making in classes, failing class tests and despising teachers. Namuganyi says that pupils can be punished without without using corporal punishments because this can lead them to disabilities.
 
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But Alex Silas Engayu, a pupil at Bombo Common Primary School said he was beaten last week after he failed a test but condemns the act.
 
Julius Okirya, a teacher at Buzibwera Primary School says that instead of caning pupils, they have introduced a children's courts at school to settle disputes among learners and it sentences the culprits to light punishments that don't harm them but rehabilitate them.
 
Okirya says that they have also embraced counseling and guidance of those of pupils who misbehave.
 
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Robert Galiwango, the head teacher of St. Kizito Bukolwa Primary School, says that  the issue of violence against learners starts at home and parents need sensitisation just like teachers.
 
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Enoch Kiyemba, the Luweero Senior District Education Officer, says the report provides hope that violence can be kicked out of school. Kiyemba explained that physical violence against pupils had led to school dropouts, poor performance in exams and is a threat to life of learners.

He adds that the Education department and Raising Voices among other organisations will continue to sensitise the teachers to stop the act.

The Ministry of education banned corporal punishment in schools.

 

About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.