All schools must take discipline seriously because it is key to excellence, the Education minister has said.
Dr Vincent Biruta was speaking in reaction to last week’s closure of a secondary school in Gasabo District, partly due to indiscipline among students.
“Ensuring discipline in schools is top on our agenda because one cannot acquire knowledge without character; I must say satisfactory discipline is a must in every school,” he noted.
He also called for closer cooperation between heads of schools, teachers and parents to monitor the progress of students, and warned business people, like bar proprietors, who sell alcohol to minors.
“In the past, there was no law punishing these business operators, rendering campaigns against selling alcohol to children unsuccessful,” he said.
He said constant monitoring of schools performance in discipline would be enforced.
Dr Biruta said local leaders will play a part in the process.
Andrew Kalisa, the head and proprietor of APRED Ndera, a secondary school in Gasabo district, faulted private schools that tolerate undisciplined students for the sake of making money.
“There has been increasing competition among private schools, which forces many to enrol any student regardless of discipline or performance record. It should be our role to shape them into better students.”
“But we should also reprimand those caught in unacceptable behaviour like stealing, smoking, drug abuse and take stern measures against those who don’t want to adjust,” said Kalisa.
He disclosed that cases of indiscipline in schools have reduced lately, possibly due to anti-drugs and “sugar mummies and daddies” campaigns.
A student of King David Academy, however, blamed “some irresponsible teachers” who, she said, are “deeply involved in the indiscipline of students”.
“Many teachers entice young girls, especially from O’ level, into having sex with them; they give them simple gifts and favour them with marks…some even give cash to broke girls, especially those in boarding schools,” she claimed on condition of anonymity.
“Others threaten you saying they can have you expelled…they generally make your life difficult to try to get to their ends”.