Female pupils and students from the central region have resolved to petition the minister of Education, Ms Jessica Alupo, to save them from sexual harassment by their teachers.
At a meeting in Kampala on Friday, the coalition of students from different schools, mostly government-aided, said teachers ask them for sex, they do not have lunch at school and the mentally disabled are discriminated. They also said few teachers start teaching in time.
“A teacher asked me for sex and promised that I will be the best in class. When I refused, he started beating me whenever I came to class,” said a Primary Six pupil who declined to identify herself and her school for fear of reprisals.
Brenda Natumbwe, a Senior Two student from Hermann Gmeiner in Wakiso District, said in their petition to the minister, they want punitive action against teachers who defile school girls and urged parents to attend to their children to avoid “temptations”.
“We shall not only blame government but also parents who don’t care for their daughters. Some parents produce many children and fail to take some to school. We want the minister to intervene and compel parents to feed us, increase teachers’ salaries, classrooms and furniture,” Natumbwe said.
Ms Kulthum Nabunya Muzaata, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) education officer, supported the pupils’ demand to punish randy teachers who demand sex from school girls. She promised to meet all the teachers in schools under KCCA to address the pupils’ grievances.
“It is a shame that pupils are saying this about their teachers. How can a teacher ask for sex from their pupils? These are their own children. I will handle this concern as a matter of urgency,” Ms Nabunya said.
She said KCCA has provided more furniture to schools and plans were underway to have all pupils have lunch at school.
Ms Sarah Naiga from SOS, an NGO that takes care of orphaned children and the organisers of the pupils/students meeting, said they would follow up the issues with the relevant authorities.
The petition will be handed to the minister on the eve of the Day of the African Child on June 11.
Cases of teachers sexually abusing their pupils are rampant in Uganda. Last year, a former teacher at Lubira Primary School in Buyanga Sub-County, Iganga District, allegedly defiled nine pupils and impregnated three of them. The teacher was reportedly transferred to another school before investigations and possible disciplinary action could be taken against him.
originally appeared in Monitor