Arua- The African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) in conjunction with teachers has launched a campaign aimed at eliminating corporal punishment from schools in Arua District.
Corporal punishment is illegal in Uganda but reports of numerous incidents of caning of children by educators in schools still exist.
The ANPPCAN programme officer, Mr Geoffrey Dramani, said corporal punishment always drives away pupils from schools.
“Pupils deserve better alternatives of counselling, discussion so that they understand why they are in schools and when an offence is committed, it is not corporal punishment that can make a child understand,” Mr Dramani said during training for teachers on violence against children in Arua District on Wednesday.
Mr Hassan Muluusi, a trainer with Raising Voices, an organisation that works to prevent violence against women and children, said most schools in the district cane students a lot.
“We still have a belief that an African child learns through caning, but both teachers and parents should change this mindset and offer a peaceful learning environment for pupils,” Mr Muluusi said.
He said there was a need for teachers to motivate pupils who disobey their instructions by offering moral and psycho-social support in form of counselling.
The district chairman, Mr Sam Nyakua, said violence against children originates from homes and many parents perpetuate it on grounds of poverty and misunderstandings in marriage.