RWECO and FAWE Uganda staff based in Kasese district, conducted a training of 144 ( 60f, 84m) teachers from 25th -27th and 2nd October 2017 in 8 schools of Katwe, Katwe Quran, Mundongo, Karambi , Kamasasa, Kanyatsi , Kyabikere Primary Schools and Kisinga Vocation Secondary School. The training was about prevention of violence against children. The teachers were targeted since they were identified as among the primary perpetrators by the baseline conducted by RWECO in Nov. 2015. The lead facilitator Mrs. Harriet Masika Kahangwa the assistant inspector in charge of Busongora South, and Mr. Richard Kilhambuli, the Regional Coordinator FAWE Uganda based in Kasese District.
The teachers vowed to drop the cane and instead root for alternative punishments after being educated on forms of violence and more the use canning was outlawed in Uganda. They realized that had been using the cane on risk and cone could easily loose his/her job. One common practice of adults going bare chest at home or dressing in a towel without a vest was a practice mentioned by the participants in all the schools. The facilitators noted that, dressing in a towel was a psychological violence to the children. The Head teacher of Karambi primary school confessed that he had not known such was violence against children, he added that his wife complains about the same and he only took a deaf ear. However, after realizing that he had been violating his children, he vowed to stop the habit. At Katwe Quran, head teacher had this to say. ‘’ I have been practicing this habit not knowing it violets my children and the community surrounding me, sometimes I even escorted visitors to the road side with the towel am surprised that it tortures the children”.
The teachers in the various schools of operation appreciated RWECO efforts in the prevention of violence against children and adolescents they noted that since our partnership, they had improved on conducting themselves professionally and had not remained the same, the community now understand violence against children (VAC) and pledged to becoming change agents in the schools and communities. We are learning more about RWECO and we are proud that among us the teachers we have a model couples. As we continue teaching pupils and students, the level of corporal punishment will reduce and mainstream positive discipline through alternative punishments since they do not inflict any pain on a child, these include detaining students for constructive work, making them write apology, verbal warning, letter writing, reading names of those who have misbehaved throughout the year during Parents Teachers Association meetings, withdraw their privileges, let them write behavioral contract and a students court can also be formed as one of the disciplinary measures.
It was an appeal to all teachers to always remain role models since community respects them, however they cited a challenge of most of the parents leaving the parenting roles of their children to teachers. The Kasese district education department and the political leaders have joined the struggle to prevent violence against children in schools and communities by passing child friendly ordinances and bye-laws
MS. Margret Kidima