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School CP - January 2005
New Vision, Kampala, 3 January 2005
Violent Strikes Mar Education Sector
By John Eremu
SCHOOL fires, violent strikes, ghost pupils and high dropout rate in primary schools overshadowed the achievements in the education sector during the year 2004.
With over 40 fires, the highest ever recorded in schools in a single year, new strategies have to be designed to tame this new found method students now use to air their grievances.
In the news was also the big debate as to whether corporal punishment should be reintroduced in schools. While the ministry has stuck to its guns that the punishment remains banned, parents of Gomba sub-county in Mpigi have petitioned Geraldine Bitamazire, the state minister for primary education that the ban is lifted. They blame the poor academic performance in the area to absence of the cane from schools. The Kasese district chairman, Yokasi Bihande, did not wait for the ban to be lifted. He has already directed schools to reintroduce the cane in schools under his jurisdiction forthwith.
Copyright © 2005 New Vision. All rights reserved.
The Monitor, Kampala, 9 January 2005
Canes almost killed us
Its amazing how time can fly, but looking back at my primary school days it all seems like yesterday, never mind that almost ten years have passed by, since I last did my primary leaving examinations. When, the law was unfair, it was strictly spare then cane, spoil the child. Teachers with this law in their hands would take it too far.
At Kabale primary school, it was even beyond justice, a total of fifty strokes of a cane in a day! eh eh I can't believe it used to happen. By the end of the day, you would have amassed an avalanche of strokes that would warrant you to take stock of the number administered to your buttocks.
The revelation would send shivers down your spine. Having discovered that by the end of the day, over twenty strokes have found their way to your bottom cushion, would leave you wondering if you were normal or had degenerated into some form of steel metal with human attributes. This was a trademark for most of the pupils, you would be extremely lucky to find that at the end of the day, less than ten strokes have been administered to your steel hardened bottom. Talk of still hardened bottoms, but the following day, sitting down would be almost an extra punishment. To think about it right now, makes me shudder, but way back then at a tender age of 6-12 years, our bodies had been accustomed.
This had to stop, therefore we devised means of escaping it; for instance putting on two pairs of shorts. Girls excelled in this, they knew how to play their cards properly, or should I call the convenience of nature, for them even a sponge would be added with ease while some of us fought to make the extra pair of shorts, shorter than Khaki shorts. But woe unto you if the teacher found out, because you would have to undress in front of the whole class. Some would take it further, and abscond from school in a manner that would not make their parents suspicious.
You would wake up early in the morning as if going to school like a blameless pupil, then branch off into the nearest hideout where, you would spend the rest of the morning and then come out for lunch as if you were from school loaded with the day's teachings, an act we used to refer to as eating Chicago. Heavy punishment would ensue when discovered.
Getting back home our mums would be the only source of solace, she would have to roll a cold round bottle or a towel, dipped in hot water unto your bottoms to relieve one of the pain and those blood cloats.
© 2005 The Monitor Publications Ltd.
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