Do you know Uganda’s statistics on violence against children in schools?
Well – according to a survey by Ministry of Education (MoEs), 82 per cent of our children (six years – twenty years) are subjected to corporal punishment. 43 per cent are bullied, 77.7 per cent sexually abused and 5.9 per cent defiled. Yet most astonishingly, only 39.8 per cent of such cases are reported!
Yes – These statistics go a long way in proving that as we focus on prosperity, progress and poverty eradication, we have to a larger extent failed to safe guard out truest future – our children!
It was against such a background that the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), MoES and COUPSTA convened at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel, Ndeeba on 30th May, 2017 for a national dialogue on the elimination of Violence against Children in Schools (VACiS).
During this dialogue we explored RTRR guidelines as a working solution to the high levels of VACiS.
RTRR guidelines aim to provide clear REPORTING, TRACKING, REFFERAL PATHWAYS AND RESPONSES that children, teachers, parents, members of the community and schools need to know, understand and follow when they encounter cases of VACiS.
The idea is that:
When all stakeholders are aware about child rights then the children have a senior man/woman in school or management ready to protect them against abuse.
When potential offenders are informed of the strict and dire disciplinary consequences of such offences then we will easily identify and deal with VACiS.
Consequently, we will ensure a happy childhood, confident and ambitious youngsters – thereby creating responsible, dependable citizens that will birth the Uganda we want.
Written by Amanda Ainengonzi