Legislators want certificates of teachers found guilty of sexual violence canceled.
The MPs were responding to the report from the select committee that inquired into allegations of sexual violence in institutions of learning in Uganda during plenary sitting on Wednesday, 27 March 2019.
Hon. Kassiano Wadri (Ind. Arua Municipality) said that institutions of learning should be made safe for learners.
“The report named three teachers from a school in my constituency as perpetrators, it is a shame. Investigations should be conducted and perpetrators brought to book,” said Kassiano Wadri.
Hon. Jovah Kamateeka (NRM, Mitooma) advised the Ministry of Education to address the issue of sexual violence so as to reduce teenage pregnancies and school drop outs.
“Teachers found sexually abusing learners should have their licenses cancelled,” said Kamateeka.
Hon. Hellen Asamo (NRM, PWDs Eastern) said that there is no reason as to why teachers who sexually abuse learners should be left to continue in the teaching profession.
Hon. David Abala (NRM, Ngora County) said teachers named in the report should be punished to serve as an example to the rest.
The Chairperson of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Children, Hon. Bernard Atiku called for the fast tracking of the sexual offenses Bill so as to address such issues legally.
“This problem can only be dealt with legal provisions in this country,” said Atiku.
The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Betty Aol Ocan urged parents to give their children a morally upright foundation as a way of fighting the vice.
“We should promote early childhood education. If you teach a child at a young age, they will grow up morally upright,” said Aol.
The State Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Hon Simon Lokodo, attributed the increase of incidences of sexual violence in institutions of learning to the degeneration of moral values in society. .
“We have come up with a national ethical values policy, which if promulgated and put in our curriculum, will go a long way in instilling good values in our people,” said Lokodo.
The inquiry into sexual violence in institutions of learning arose from a motion presented to Parliament by Hon. Anna Adeke Ebaju, (National Female Youth Representative) which was instigated by the numerous and repeated media reports of gross acts of the vice in institutions of learning at all levels.
The Committee Chairperson, Hon. Robina Rwakoojo said the committee found that sexual violence is widespread in virtually all the institutions of learning visited.
In its report, the committee recommended that teachers who are found culpable for sexual misconduct should have their teaching licenses revoked and their names struck off the register of teachers.
The committee also recommended the amendment of the Education Act, 2008 to give effect to the right of pregnant girls to be retained and reintegrated in education institutions after giving birth.
The Minister of State for Higher Education, John Crysostom Muyingo assured legislators that recommendations in the report will be implemented.
“Whether it means taking disciplinary action against wrong doers, disciplinary measures will be administered according to the laws of this country. Whether it requires change of policy, we shall make the necessary change. We want our children protected,” said Muyingo.
He also clarified that it is not policy in the ministry to transfer teachers who are accused of engaging in sexual abuse, saying that where such changes have happened, it is because of insufficient information.