On 11th Monday 2016 Human Rights and Democracy Link Africa with support from RWECO organized a school open day or career day at Kitswamba SDA where over 400 parents, religious and local leaders attended.
The school started in 1962 by the Seventh Day Adventist church and became government aided in 1997, its run by the school management committee that has 13 members, parents Teachers Association 9 members , 13 (1f,12m) teaching staff and the pupils. The school’s population is 860 pupils (462 girls, 405 boys). Enrollment for girls is large however P.7 has only 17 girls and 23 boys this implies that most of the girls and boys too drop on the way for early pregnancies, early marriages and lack of basic needs like scholastic material and sanitary pads. Parents contribute 3000shs as development fund to the school and also agreed to pay for remedial classes. In 2015 PLE only 6 pupils were in division two out of 55. Reasons for poor performance the school administrators attribute to, inadequate classrooms, seats and understaffed, lack of lunch meals for pupils, lack of safe water the school uses swamp water which is not clean at all, lack of scholastic material, education not being first priority in the area, lack of payments for school dues, denial of time to revise at home, attending burials, marriages and cinema halls among others. Children presented poems and skits on VAC and its impacts and how they want a violence free community to achieve their goals. The pupils called on their parents to provide mid-day meals, basic needs and teachers to stop violating their rights, provide safe environment, be present at school and finish the syllabus.
The day was organized for the teachers, parents and leaders both local and religious to interact and forge way forward in preventing violence against children and proper upbringing children for a better future. Parents were embraced and took lead in guiding children and fellow parents. These are some of the forms of violence in this community defilement, rape, early marriages, corporal punishments by teachers and parents and child labor. Amidst all these, children are still engaging in bad acts for instance one parent highlighted that there six girls in p.6 that have been coming to school in wrong hours waiting for boys and men, they have made this school a lodge and already one of them is pregnant. Therefore parents should be kin on the steps our children take for us to yield fruits in them.
The CDO Kitswamba sub/county argued parents to have commitment of educating their children, the mistrust in families where pockets are different affect children too. Let’s work together for a proper economic empowerment. Parents were guided to love and take good care for their children by providing basic needs like scholastic material, sanitary package always guiding them on issues of reproductive health, how to respect people, dress code limit their movements, guide them to fear God , talk about children roles and responsibilities and above all ensure there is food security in the household.
Ms. Margret Kidima