By Cecilia Okoth and Clare Muhindo
THE Ministry of Works and Transport has launched a road safety education curriculum for primary one to four pupils in a bid to reduce fatal pedestrian accidents which according to research, affects children.
The curriculum that is currently being propelled in 180 selected primary schools in the country has trained about 720 teachers in road safety matters.
During the launch at Hotel Africana, the state minister for transport Stephen Chebrot said several measures have been undertaken to achieve a 50 percent reduction in road traffic accident deaths by 2020.
“The ministry in collaboration with major stakeholders finalized the development of a road safety policy and strategy that will guide actions, investments and plans for reducing road accidents once approved by cabinet,” Chebrot said.
The curriculum will use resources like posters and chat series, learners’ books, teachers guide, trainers’ manual and copies of road safety DVDs.
Presenting a paper on road safety education and the role of traffic, Dr. Steven Kasiima the head of traffic in the Uganda Police Force said road safety injuries are the single biggest source of fatalities among children aged 10 to 24.
According to statistics, Kasiima said 688 who died from road accidents were under 10 years, 377 between 18 to 24 years and 884 between 24 and 34 in 2013.
“With this curriculum, traffic officers will visit all primary schools in Uganda to impart knowledge on safe walking, travelling safety, precautions on the road, pedestrian responsibility, road crossing, traffic signals, seat belt use and safety signs,” He said.
Fred Tumwine the Executive director Uganda Road Accident Reduction Network Organisation (URRENO) that is championing this campaign together with the National Curriculum Development Centre and the works ministry and other stakeholders said the cost of road accidents account for two percent of the GDP of Uganda’s economy.
“The estimated cost of accidents in 2013 was Sh209.1 billion. These were incurred in life lost, hospital expenses, burial costs, time lost and property and vehicle damage,” Tumwine said.
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Gov’t launches road safety curriculum