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Three horror stories. Three schools. Three dead children

A boy looking at a poster against child violence

A boy looking at a poster against child violence

STORY ONE:

On March 11, 11-year-old Dan Gasore died shortly after being rushed to Kisoro hospital. On March 9. Gasore had returned home from school, visibly distressed, according to The Observer newspaper.

Gasore’s father recounts the boy came home in tears, narrating that his teacher had hit him on the head and back. The boy’s condition continued to deteriorate until his tragic death in the hospital.

What happened to Gasore? On March 9, Gasore’s teacher, Pasco Hakizimana, hit him on his back and head for failing to understand what he/Hakizimana sought to impart. Hakizimana is currently on the run.

Spare a moment of silence for the parents of Gasore who are face-to-face with every parent’s worst nightmare. His grieving parents sought to do right to their child by sending him to school. Yet the cruellest fate awaited their son in the form of his teacher.

STORY TWO:

On February 26, one student died and three others escaped with injuries in a fire at Kyamate Secondary School in Ntungamo district. In a harrowing revelation, the Daily Monitor narrowed the genesis of the fire down to bullying.

The victim’s brother had earlier reported some students for bullying. The school administration consequently suspended the bullies. Seeking revenge, the bullies sneaked into the school and apprehended the whistleblower’s brother, 14-year-old Bonus Atukwatse.

They beat him up and then tied him to his bed. The bullies then poured petrol all over the dormitory and set it ablaze. In the Central region, when tragedy strikes, people will identify with the bereaved in a repetitive chorus of ‘Kitalo nnyo’, a Luganda phrase to express deep shock.

That child should be as nefarious as to set another child on fire should send the nation reverberating with kitalo nnyo. When we are done mouthing our kitalo nnyo, our hands on our heads as we look on in shock at the charred remains of the dormitory, what then?

STORY THREE:

In October 2022, 14-year-old Paul Luyimbazi, a pupil of St. Jude Thaddeus primary school in Bukomansimbi district, committed suicide by hanging himself in the school library. The Police suspect Luyimbazi committed suicide in response to a teacher who had threatened him with a punishment of 80 strokes of kiboko. Eighty kiboko! Luyimbazi was allegedly in a relationship with a 13-year-old female schoolmate in contravention of the school rules on relationships.

80 strokes over teenage romance! One shudders to imagine the number of kiboko minor infractions attract, infractions that pepper the daily interactions of school children.

Three horror stories. Three schools. Three dead children. A parent’s worst nightmare. The stories to our detriment are neither only three nor are they falling in number. If you choose to look for stories of violence in schools, you choose nightmares that will haunt your daylight.

It is wild and unfathomable that children face danger, even death at school. School - a place where they should be, a place where they should be safe. Schools can be dangerous places, warns a December 2022 Devex article titled, “Children face an ‘epidemic of violence’ in schools.”

According to the United Nations, over 240 million children worldwide face violence in and around schools every year. The article notes that while most international and national initiatives on education focus on boosting enrolment and learning outcomes, all these commendable initiatives will come to naught if children do not feel safe at school.

In April 2021, The Lancet documented the results of a study in which 90 per cent of Ugandan primary school children experienced physical violence at the hand of teachers, especially male teachers.

Raising Voices, a child rights civil society organization, told Devex that the use of violence to control children is seen as normal and acceptable behaviour, noting that, “Violence in school is structural; the system endorses it and it is seen as a way of controlling students. So, we need to address the ecosystem surrounding the school and ... rather than treating violence as an event, we need to treat it as a process happening within a context.”

Raising Voices is onto something. These three tragedies of young lives brutally cut short in what should have been preventable circumstances should force us to reflect upon how we got here. Within these stories of violent devastation is the opportunity to reimagine the safety of children in and around schools.

Three children died needlessly; the recompense that remains is to acknowledge our contribution towards the structure enabling violence against children in and around schools. The government has its high-sounding policies in neatly laminated reports on how to end violence against children.

Fortunately, the lives of our children are too precious to be left to the laminated donor-funded government reports. In a strange twist, currently, our mass hysteria has zeroed onto the vile homosexuals, when we should be making schools no-go areas for sexual predators of all orientations.

This is going to need all of us. All of us for the children of Uganda.

smugmountain@gmail.com

The writer is a tayaad muzzukulu.

Comments

+4 #1 Lakwena 2023-03-24 16:45
Tayaad Muzzukulu, the three horror stories, three schools and three dead children, is symbolic "tip of the Iceberg" of horror stories of the country call Uganda and dead Ugandans.

In other words e.g.:

1. Who can tell the horror story and death of the people of Kaseses in the Nov 2016 Mssacre?

2. Who can tell the horror story and deaths of the 54 Ugandans massacred in cold blood on the Streets of Kampala on 18th and 19th Nov 2020?

3. Who can tell the horror and violent death of Boxer Zebra in a hail of bullets in his backyard, etc.?
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+1 #2 Akot 2023-03-25 16:18
Lakwena, thanks.

Is Museveni concerned about how Ugandans live?

Who are those massacring Ugandans?

Are tribal leaders concened about what goes on?

Ugandans kill, harass one another to ensure Museveni's lifetime rule & transfer of power to his son, WHY?

Ugandans have made themselves the danger in the zone formed by their tribal lands; they silence, imprisone, torture one another, to ensure Uganda belongs to migrant Museveni & family, WHY?

Ah! Ugandans ensure Museveni is protected even from responsibility of what goes on by all means;

- the tribalistic system,
- fake presidential election, parliamentary, local
elections!

Just NO to thed tribalistic system & UNITY, are all Ugandans need, if they want Museveni out, but they prefer Museveni as chief tribal leader, fake president, in the fake country!
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0 #3 Akot 2023-03-25 16:37
OLIVIA NALUBWAMA,

The educated like you, MUST help Ugandans UNITE, to bring down Museveni or he'll still be ruling when these kids become adults, while you publish articles telling the world how miserable powerless tribally divided ruled Ugandans are!

The only moves Ugandans need are;

- NO to the tribalistic system,

- UNITY, to block & show Museveni way out!

Are 37 years of Museveni not long enough & all we do is comment on how miserable we?

These kids & their own kids will be in worse situation in a worse Uganda, unless UNITY stops Museveni!

Even Acholi, killed, destroyed, reduced to nothing by Museveni have joined the demon,because they know they will be rejected by all the other tribes that UNITED to bring in Museveni!

Who will save these kids when Ugandans are powerless tribally divided ruled ensuring their land belongs to Museveni & family?
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0 #4 Akot 2023-03-27 13:35
Museveni is playing with Ugandans' lives, as Putin is doing so with that of the world, as their birth rights!

Either you are with Museveni, Putin, Jinping, Erdogan, Kagame..., or you are enemy to be got rid of!

Some naive call for UN Security Council meeting to discuss Putin's war on Ukrain, forgetting Putin has VETO power in the Counsil & China, useless African rulers always go along with these demons or abstain, pretending to be nutral, but in WHAT way when they are are the main cause of world miserie that need concrete answers, through Good Governance & in real Democracy?

Putin invaded Ukraine, but the world MUST believe it's the other way roung!

Usless African rulers turned their independent lands into shitholes, but they teach their poor naive people to hate former colonials for miseries they have caused, continue to cause!...
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0 #5 Akot 2023-03-27 13:42
...The worse is that USA/EU change leaders every 4/5 years, UK has done so 4 times in 1 year!

But these real democracies are still memners of defunct UN in which self styled lifetime demon rulers; Putin, Xinping, Kagame, Museveni... laugh, spit, block the world in wars, dictatorship, destruction...!

USA/UK/EU aren't even aware that migration to their lands will never end as they are still members of defunct UN, for whom Good Governance in all member states isn't good & not subject of discussion!

Migrant Museveni is lifetime ruler who tribally divided Ugandans & will leave the post to his son finally, but the Rwandese isn't concidered a colonialist, WHY?!

Sudanese Idi Amin wanted to make Uganda Sudanese land, now Rwandese Museveni is doing so & Ugandans just help him own their land, WHY?
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