The school administrators and parents of a six-year-old child, who died of injuries after she was reportedly beaten by her teacher, kept the incident secret from police for more than 20 days.
Albaqueen Kainerugaba, 6, a Top Class pupil at Home Kindergarten in Najeera Township, a city suburb, died at Mulago National Referral Hospital on Monday.
The death of Kainerugaba has led to the arrest of the school director, head teacher and teacher who allegedly beat the child, on charges of neglect and murder.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said the parents of the deceased only reported the criminal case at police a day before the victim died.
“The school administrators and parents had agreed to resolve the issues amicably without involving the police. This delay hasn’t enabled us to get a dying declaration from the deceased yet it would be very important to understand what happened on the fateful day,” Mr Onyango said yesterday.
According to the postmortem report, Kainerugaba died of a blood clot (intravascular coagulation). Doctors suspect that the caning could have aggravated the health problem the child had.
The police now have to rely on statements of third parties, who are the deceased’s classmates, parents and teachers, about what happened.
It is alleged that on February 27, Kainerugaba was beaten as a way of punishment by the said teacher while in class. Kainerugaba informed her mother later about the beating, who visited the school and talked to the head teacher.
The school administrators have been meeting the medical bills, but when the health of the child deteriorated on Monday, the parents logged a complaint at police.
Mr Onyango said after the case was reported, a team of detectives was sent to Mulago hospital to talk to the victim only to be told that she had died.
“We then looked for the teacher. We were told by the school management that the suspect had been dismissed after the incident. Her phone contacts were switched off. Our detectives traced her in Katabi, Entebbe, where she had got a new job of teaching,” he said.
He said statements of the victim’s parents have been obtained.
The school administrators and teacher have recorded their statements.
Incidents of death and injuries of school children at the hands of teachers are still rampant despite the government ban on corporal punishments. More than four students died after they were beaten by their teachers last year.