Police in Jinja has warned several schools for fomenting violence among students from neighbouring institutions.
This follows a three-week spate of fights among students from four secondary schools in Jinja. According to Kiira region police spokesperson, Samson Lubega, several students from Jinja SS, Jinja Progressive Academy, St Peter's SS and Jinja Modern SS have been involved in street fights that have left some hospitalized.
He reported that they had interviewed some of the victims, who admitted that they had been caught up in fights over their respective schools. Teachers involved in promoting school rivalries will be prosecuted.
“Though students carry the burden of indiscipline, there are some teachers [involved] in promoting violence among students but they shall be brought to book,” adds Lubega.
Lubega said the fights were also fomented by students who had been expelled from one school over issues in another.
“Some expelled students from the victimized schools created a group known as ‘black family’ which has made it a habit to attack the rest,” he reported. “Investigations on the school attacks are ongoing and we shall prosecute the perpetrators.”
Herman Kintu, a senior four student from Jinja SS, is a recent victim. He said colleagues attacked him on his way to school.
“I was heading to school on Wednesday when colleagues from the neighbouring school pulled me by the sleeves, took me inside their school premises and battered me. I was saved by police,” Kintu said.
Following the investigations, the police called a reconciliation meeting among school heads at the Jinja district headquarters, where some of the student leaders complained about calls of administrators blaming one another for nurturing unruly students.
“We all share the same students but at times our counterparts in other schools have ganged up their students in rivalry rather than academic matters," said
Michael Kifubangabo, who represented teachers from Jinja SS.
“We cannot entirely accuse sister schools of fueling student wars but [it is our duty] to sort out issues … these efforts have been frustrated by some few elements within us who cocoon with students for the wrong cause,” Kifubangabo said.
Several of his colleagues backed his comments and agreed to work to resolve the matter. Jinja Municipal Council principal education officer, Jonathan Kamwana pledged to hold the schools to their promises to ensure good discipline and self-respect among the students.
“I partly blame parents for their children’s ill-manners, but as the education department, we intend to end school fights by preaching self-respect and cooperation among our teachers,” Kamwana said.