Good Hope Foundation organized three (3) consultative meetings of stakeholders on dangers of violence against children in two sub-counties of Kisinga and Karusandara in Kasese district targeting the 4 schools which included; Kiburara primary school, Kisinga Vocation Secondary school, Karusandara SDA and Kenyange primary school. The consultative meetings were to strengthen the capacity of school management committees to mitigate violence against children and adolescents. The meetings focused on sharing the proposal document among the school committees while highlighting the activities that will be implemented with the school, sensitizing the members on issues of VAC and then sharing the guidelines produced by the ministry of education on reducing violence against children in schools.
The meeting was attended by the school management committee members, the PTA members, local leaders, CBO representatives and some civil servants. 86 people participated in these sensitization meetings (58 males and 28 females).
The issues raised by the participants that increases violence against children and adolescents in schools included; the mishandling of cases by the local leaders and the police due to corruption for example one member cited a case at Kenyange Muslem primary school where a 36 old man from Karusandara in May 2015 defiled a 8 year old child and all the medical examination were done and handed to the police but no action was taken on the perpetrator, also the attendance of the members to protect their relationships with the community members which make people to fear reporting the perpetrators, parents are also to blame for the increased cases of VAC in schools because of their culture of not attending parent’s meeting which is the only platform for parents and teachers to discuss the welfare of the learners for example the head teacher from Kiburara primary school said that out of 300 parents, only 72 parents turned up for this year parents meeting. Also parents do support the perpetrators especially if the perpetrator is a hard working teacher in school, as well as the failure of the parents to provide lunch to their children which affect their studies.
Recommendations made by the members during our meetings;
- The management to come up with by-laws that hold parents responsible to attend the parents meetings.
- The school management together with the parents to introduce lunch or breakfast in their respective primary schools.
- Local leaders together with the management to do massive mobilization in the community to build school ownership among the community members.
- The management and parents also to assist the teaching staff in tracking, reporting and following up cases of violence against children in schools and in the community.
- The management also suggested that the head teacher should always give a written report on the affairs of the children in school to the management and parents.
- PTA and SMC to ensure that guidelines on preventing VAC in the school are implemented by all stakeholders of the school.
- In the meeting, members pledged to do massive advocacy at school and community level on prevention of VAC while educating the community and the children on the importance of education and raising awareness on the roles and responsibilities of teachers, children and parents in ensuring that children in school are free from violence.
- The management and the teaching staff to ensure that children are tested for HIV/AIDS and pregnancies at least once a term.
- Members had to suggest that for any VAC related case within the school, they should be engaging non-governmental organizations to assist in following-up the cases as this will reduces the chances of cases being mishandled.
|Add captionSMC and PTA members of Kenyange Muslim P/S during the consultative meeting on VAC|
|SMC and PTA members of Kisinga Voc Sec School during the consultative meeting on VAC|