In the wake of students striking and burning down schools, it is time all Ugandans realised that the issue of rights is not all about demanding them but also accepting the duties and responsibilities that come with them.
Rights cannot stand alone; they derive strength from duty and responsibility. The demand for oneâ€™s rights should hence not be at the expense of other peopleâ€™s rights nor should it be at the expense of oneâ€™s duty to self and society.
Striking and burning down schools shows immaturity, and lack of critical thinking and consideration for other people. While demanding for oneâ€™s rights, one ought to know that the other person too has rights.
Having a child is a responsibility and, therefore, the parent has the duty of taking care of that child up to time the child is able to take care of himself. Similarly, the child ought to know that much as he has the right to be taken care of, there are certain obligations he should fulfil.
The rule for co-existing is every human being has a duty and responsibility towards others.
The demand for rights should not be an excuse to harm others.
Rules and regulations are established so that rights are protected. Disregarding these rules means infringing on other peopleâ€™s rights. The key to realising oneâ€™s rights lies respect and tolerance; one has to respect oneself and then others. With respect comes tolerance and patience.
There is a certain level of intolerance in our society that is unfortunately seeping down to the young generation. For students with grievances, burning down schools is not the way out. There are student leaders in schools, through whom these grievances can be channelled.
Then the leaders will discuss the problem with the teachers and come up with solutions. This is where respect, patience and tolerance come in. If the students chose these leaders, they should be able to respect and trust them.
Impatience is a sign of immaturity and a lack of respect. Delays to get an answer or says should not call for battle.
It is everybodyâ€™s responsibility to respect those they live, work and interact with.
Parents should also take an active role in ensuring that their children are well-behaved, instead of leaving the issue to the teachers hoping that they will make the best out of them. Charity, they say, begins at home and discipline is the key to success. Let us all respect and tolerate one another if we are to gain respect.
The writer is a student of Human Rights at Makerere University
Rights donâ€™t come alone; they come with duties and responsiblities