In Uganda, children continue to silently experience violence in form of sexual abuse, bullying and corporal punishment which in the long run forces them to drop out of school. Since 2018, NCD with support from RTI International is supporting schools communities in Lyantonde and Buhweju Districts to prevent School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV). In a move to eliminate SRGBV, we are sensitizing pupils on bullying, corporal punishment, sexual abuse, early warning signs of sexual abuse and why children need to report SRGBV cases.
This has come with learnings to us and parents as well, while bullying is considered a minor issue in our communities, it demotivates pupils from attending school. At Kalyamenvu Primary School in Lyantonde district, pupils without school uniforms were always bullied by fellow pupils and denied an opportunity to stand for any leadership position at school. This silently affected pupils who could not voice their challenges to their parents. During our interaction with pupils, we learnt of this challenge and held a meeting with parents to discuss strategies of addressing this challenge. Parents realized and appreciated the value of buying school uniforms and in return pupils are free to stand for leadership positions in schools.
In Kitega and Kyeyare Primary Schools in Buhweju district, during our sensitization meetings with pupils on preventing SRGBV, we have learnt that parents “push” teachers to punish their children in hope for better grades and yet this does not necessarily yield better grades. NCD is working with various stakeholders to sensitize teachers on the advantages of positive discipline in schools.
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