Physical violence by teachers against children has reduced by 42 per cent, a new study by a child rights organisation has revealed. The move to reduce violence against children was conducted by Raising Voices in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as well as Makerere University over a period of 18 months.
The study was conducted using a package dubbed ‘the good school tool kit’.
“The good school kit aims at reducing violence and changing the operational culture of schools. This intervention has been shown to have a large impact on reducing violence through the kit in a short period of time,” the programme Manager, Mr Willington Ssekadde said at the Raising Voices offices in Kampala on Tuesday.
During the study, 42 primary schools in Luwero were used with 21 implementing the toolkit and 21 as ‘control’ schools. The kit creates a notion that children can understand better when there is mutual understanding between students and teachers.
According to Mr Ssekadde, students in intervention schools reported a reduction in physical violence from school staff. They reported improved feelings of well-being and safety at school, suggesting that the toolkit succeeded in changing the school environment.
The Assistant Commissioner, Ministry of Education, Science and Sports said abolition of corporal punishment had been a challenge since 1996.
“There had been continued corporal punishments administered to children in schools despite its abolition. However, times have changed and violence against children should stop,” said Mr Lusambu.
He added that the Ministry has adopted the component of the toolkit that helps schools to prevent corporal punishment and create positive discipline.
The good school kit
The Good School Toolkit was developed by Raising Voices in preventing violence against children attending school and improving child mental health and educational outcomes. It helps teachers, students and parents create a good school by describing a process, suggesting activities and provides tools for ordinary teachers and students to create a more transparent and operational culture.
It has been in operation since June 2012 and a follow up was made in 2014. Each time, over 3,500 children and about 600 teachers and other school staff are interviewed. Currently, it is being used in more than 600 schools in Uganda.