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Head Teacher Ordered Out of School For failing to Protect Girl Child :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Head Teacher Ordered Out of School For failing to Protect Girl Child

On Monday, Katakwi Resident District Commissioner, Rtd. Maj. Geoffrey Katamba, the LC V Chairperson, Geoffrey Omolo, and the Police visited the school on a fact-finding mission. The RDC who chaired the meeting, says that they discovered administrative weaknesses like laxity in supervision, which expose the girls in the boarding section to sexual harassment.
Apuuton Head teacher, Moses Ekunyu seated with some of his staff during the meeting with district officials.

Audio 4

Katakwi district authorities have given the education department an ultimatum of two days to transfer a head teacher whose staff allegedly defiled and impregnated a primary- five pupil. 

Moses Ekunyu, the head teacher of Apuuton Primary School is accused of failing to put in place measures to protect the girl child from sexual abuse. It comes days after the victim's father, Sam Emukoki, reported the case of defilement against Romanos Okello, a teacher at Apuuton Primary School.

The teacher, who is at large is reported to have taken advantage of the weak administration of the school to access and defile the pupil who was in the boarding section. The reports from the school indicate that Okello could call the pupil to his house under the guise of helping with classwork to defile her. 

His luck ran out when the child became sickly and was subjected to a pregnancy test which, confirmed the minor was pregnant. When the matter reached the family, Okello fled the school, leaving the administration to battle with the case.

On Monday, Katakwi Resident District Commissioner, Rtd. Maj. Geoffrey Katamba, the LC V Chairperson, Geoffrey Omolo, and the Police visited the school on a fact-finding mission. The RDC who chaired the meeting, says that they discovered administrative weaknesses like laxity in supervision, which expose the girls in the boarding section to sexual harassment.

Apuuton, a model school with a record of academic excellence in Katakwi district mainly hires single young adults, which the RDC notes could be another danger to the learners in the boarding section.

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The RDC added that they have recommended a pregnancy check-up of all the girls and a boost of the security at the school including the deployment of experienced matrons to safeguard the learners. He said that they recommend the transfer of the head teacher after learning that he had a similar track record. 

Maj. Katamba, however, noted that whereas they would be interested in following up on the head teachers' alleged immoral conduct, the events are reported to have taken place over a decade ago.

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Katakwi District Police Commander, Christopher Ruhunde said that while the police are still hunting for the suspect, they are carrying out more investigations into the matter. Daniel Alileng, the Katakwi District Inspector of Schools who was also in attendance, said that the law must take its cause on errant teachers. 

He told the meeting that the education top management will decide on the next deployment of the head teacher on Wednesday. But Katakwi is not alone in battling cases of teachers defiling pupils in schools.

In Kumi, Nelson Elungat Lakol, the Kumi District Chairperson says they cracking a whip on teachers involved in sexual harassment of children in school. Elungat says they have registered 2,669 cases of teenage pregnancy in the last three years. 

He notes that Kanyum and Mukongoro sub-counties are in the lead with cases of teenage pregnancy and child marriages in the district.

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On Monday, Uganda joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Population Day, its main function was held at Kumi Boma Ground. Statistics from Uganda Demographic Health Surveys and Uganda Bureau of Statistics indicate that Teso has the highest teenage pregnancy rate with 31 percent compared to the national average, which stands at 25 percent. Dr. Mary Otieno, the UNFPA Country Director, says that education is key to preventing teenage pregnancies and child marriages in Uganda.

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In Teso sub-region, 7 percent of children aged 10-17 years are in child marriage.