Abig number of pupils in primary schools across Uganda have been emotionally and physically abused by a teacher or bullied in school by their peers. School related gender-based violence (SRGBV) is a major barrier to education in Uganda because it leads to poor performance and undermines the retention of pupils in school.
Gender-based violence (GBV) in schools is mainly in three forms namely; bullying, corporal punishment, sexual abuse and harassment. A recent SRGBV study by USAID/ Uganda Literacy Achievement and Retention Activity indicates that 95.6% of pupils in Primary Three and Primary Five experienced bullying, 88.3% of pupils in Primary Three and Primary Five experienced corporal punishment, and 41.2% of Primary Three and 50.1% of Primary Five pupils experienced sexual abuse.
With these alarming statistics, the education ministry with support from USAID/Uganda Literacy Achievement and Retention Activity devised a strategy to use teachers, parents and community members as change agents to promote a positive school climate in various districts.
According to Denis Kayiwa, the communications specialist, USAID/Uganda Literacy Achievement and Retention Activity, a total 2,658 community change agents have been trained in communities around 1,431 primary schools in 14 districts supported by the project.
The training is conducted using a journeys curriculum which engages learners in a reflection process to share their experiences with corporal punishment and how it affects their stay in school. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS STORY