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VERDICT: New report pins 60 teachers, lecturers on sexually abusing students

Chairperson of the select committee into allegations of sexual violence in schools and institutions, Hon. Robina Rwakoojo, her report has pinned a number of teachers sexual harassment. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – A new report has pinned a total of 60 teachers and lecturers in primary schools, secondary schools and higher institutions of learning on sexually harassing students.

The report, which was compiled by a select committee of Parliament on the directive of Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, indicates that of the 33 institutions of learning (primary, secondary and higher institutions of learning) visited by the committee countrywide,  39% of students claimed to have experienced some form of sexual violence.

The committee headed by Gomba West MP Robina Gureme Rwakooja established that Makerere University, Busitema University, St Lawrence High School Horizon Campus,  Serere Secondary School, and Nateete Muslim Primary School had the highest forms of sexual harassment of females.

The committee established that sexual abuse was manifested in the form of defilement and rape, among others.

It was also established that at the University and Tertiary level, it was common for lecturers to intentionally fail students or withhold their marks under the guise of “missing marks” to increase the students’ vulnerability to yield to their sexual demands.

The committee also established that some perpetrators of sexual violence were outside school setting like in workplaces, homes, and communities with Boda Boda riders, parents and relatives being mentioned.

“Although the terms of reference for the inquiry were restricted to institutions of learning, the Committee found several cases of sexual violence occurring outside the education setting, for instance, two girls from Kibuli Secondary School and St. Lawrence Horizon Campus, respectively, informed the Committee that they feared to return home for holidays because they are sexually abused by their fathers” The report read in parts

“In addition, University students informed the Committee that they are sexually harassed at places of the internship, yet University policies against sexual harassment only have jurisdiction over incidents which occur within the University setting and most workplaces do not have anti-sexual harassment policies,” it adds.

The committee recommends that the Education Ministry revokes licenses of teachers who are found culpable for sexual misconduct and their names struck off the register of teachers.

That the Education ministry should take stern action against perpetrators of sexual violence in institutions of learning and should not merely transfer them to other institutions.

That the government should investigate the 60 teachers who were mentioned as the main perpetrators of sexual violence in those visited schools.

The MPs also commended that the National Council for Higher Education should fast track the formulation of comprehensive police guidelines for universities and tertiary institutions to foster coherence in addressing sexual harassment in these institutions not later than June 2O19.

The report is to be debated on Tuesday by Parliament.

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