Education ministry faulted for lack of action against offenders of sexual violence in schools
CHILDREN | Officials from the Ministry of Education and Sports have been to tasked rectify endemic failure to take actions against the perpetrators of sexual violence in elementary schools and higher institutions of learning.
The ministry officials, led by line minister and First Lady, Janet Museveni, were appearing for an interface with legislators on the Select Committee of Parliament chaired by Gomba West MP, Robinah Rwakojo that is investigation the rampant sexual violence in institutions of learning.
The issue was raised by Western Youth MP Mwine Mpaka, who noted that despite a number of cases of sexual violence noted in schools, no record of perpetrators have had their certificates and licenses revoked.
“Why is it that the Education Service Commission has failed to fire head teachers and teachers that have been found involved in sexual violence against students and pupils but instead transferred them to different institutions,?” Mwine asked.
He cited the cases of Lugazi Secondary School and Kibuli SS, noting that the school heads had never been fired despite being named in sexual violence practice against students.
In March, the Ministry of Education recommended criminal prosecution of Kibuli Secondary School headmaster, Ali Muggaga, after its investigation report implicated him in sexually abusing his female students.
In response, Mrs Museveni noted that there is need for all stakeholders to join in the fight against sexual violence noting that this is a vice that streams from our society and later at Higher Institutions of Learning.
“This issue cannot be handled by the Ministry alone, we can do what we are able to do but this involves all of us as members of the society in fighting the vice,” Janet Museveni said.
On taking actions against the suspected perpetrators of sexual violence against students, the first lady noted that several reported cases end up being resolved out of court which gives the Ministry hard time to take actions against such a suspect who has been set free by Court.
“Because of lack of evidence against suspects, we are forced to keep them or sometime transfer them; some of these suspects are so powerful and can buy off whoever is involved in the case, including parents of the victims,” the minister said.
However, she said there has been a notable reduction in the number of sexual violence cases registered in institutions of learning.
According to the statistics provided by the ministry officials, 25% of the girl children drop out of schools is due to sexual violence that sometime end in pregnancies.
On this note, Minister Janet Museveni explained that the ministry is coming up with a number of measures to fight sexual violence in schools including empowering children to report such acts and as well roll out sexuality education frame work where students will be sensitized on how to protect themselves from perpetrators.