The Government of Uganda has revealed that it has kick-started a review process on the content of the teacher-training manual to include a component on how teachers are prepared to tame and or fight corporal punishment in schools.
In his address delivered at the launch of the Positive Discipline Coalition in Kampala on Friday, Mr Ronald Kabunga from the Gender Mainstreaming Unit at the Ministry of Education said the resolve to review the curriculum will enable the government to a holistic approach to end the inhumane practice in schools.
“There are designs being made in the teacher training curriculum and one of the courses that the teachers are going to go through are the aspects of how to tame corporal punishments. I hope that will be better than engaging the teacher who is already in the field,” he stated.
Government plan comes on the heels of growing cases of corporal punishment in the country with the latest having been registered at Nakasongola Army Secondary School where two teachers brutally assaulted a Senior One student.
Two suspects; Corporal Jackson Bitaryebwa and Private Enoch Tindimwebwa are being locked up for a brutal assault act that resulted in grievous bodily harm to the learner.
Stakeholders who convened in Kampala Friday decried the escalating cases of inhumane treatment and abuse of children despite the strict legislation in place condemning the vice.
The Technical Advisor for violence against Children at the Raising Voices, Ms Hope Wambi revealed that they were compelled to design an alternative approach to taming corporal punishment in schools and communities since perpetrators claim not to have alternative means of instilling discipline among children.
“When we go to schools, everyone is saying that you tell us not to use corporal punishment, so what should we use? So we are saying instead of using corporal punishment, use positive discipline,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the Uganda Child Rights NGO Network (UCRNN), Ms Marjorie Sseruwo, revealed that their teams had through several observations made in their campaigns in the field observed that adults fuel the vice by wielding power on children as an ‘easy’ approach to whipping children.
“We have learnt from experience that the root cause of the use of corporal punishment is the misuse of power by adults,” she said, adding: “Instead of using their power to nurture and guide children, they humiliate and hurt children because it seems like an easier way of controlling children’s behaviour.”
The programme is attracting over 15 stakeholders including; Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Africhild Centre Makerere, Concern for Girl Child plus the Ministry of Education as well as Ministry of Gender.
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