Police on Wednesday opened up a General Inquiry File to investigate a video that has been making rounds on social media of a nursery school child being beaten severely by a male adult.
The video which was first published on the Uganda Radio Network social media pages, shows a child, later identified as a four-year-old pupil of Marto Nursery School in Kamwokya, being beaten on the legs, the back and the head by a male adult.
Following a social media uproar, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire sent a team of officers from Mawanda Road Police Station to Marto Nursery School to establish the circumstances under which the child was facing corporal punishment.
In a statement recorded by the school authority, they revealed that the parent of the four-year-old boy had come to the school after the child was reported missing from school and later found.
While the school could not readily avail the names of the victim’s father, they were able to give his phone number to the officers.
Owoyesigyire said he had called the child’s father and advised him to avail himself to Mawanda Road Police Station.
“I have talked to him and he confirmed that he was the one captured in the video and that he was punishing his son for escaping from school. I have, however, asked him to go to the station and talk to our officers, ” Owoyesigyire said.
The child is usually delivered to Marto Nursery School by his six-year-old brother. However, yesterday, the brother who goes to a different school, did not drop the younger sibling at Marto Nursery.
As a result, the four-year-old got lost, followed other children and ended up at Mulago School for the Deaf. He could not be allowed to enter the school but the school guard took him to Old Mulago Police Post.
He was donning a school uniform that had no badge. The Officer In-charge Old Mulago Police, Daniel Kyeyune is quotted by Uganda Radio Network saying he visited the nearest nursery schools, asking whether the child studied in any of them. From these nursery schools, he was informed that the school uniform he was donning is for Marto Nursery School.
Kyeyune says got a boda-boda cyclist and a police constable who he directed to take the child to the school.
The child was handed over to the teacher identified as Winfred Nakanjako who, according to an eyewitness who recorded the video, first beat the child before the parent came in. It is this teacher seen in the video standing and watching as the child is being beaten. Nakanjako told URN that there is nothing she could do to stop the parent from punishing the child.
But the parent was allowed to administer corporal punishment to the child within the school premises. Article 106 (a) of Children Act, as amended in 2016, prohibits corporal punishment in schools. It states that a person of authority in institutions of learning shall not subject a child to any form of corporal punishment.
It describes it as an offence punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding one hundred currency points or both. A currency point in Uganda is twenty thousand shillings.
The teacher did not answer the question as to why she allowed the parent to beat the kid instead of ensuring that he reaches school safely and return home safely after school.
Nakanjako kept insisting that there is no way she could stop the parent from beating the child.
After being asked many questions, Nakanjako later admitted that “what the parent did was not good.” She added that this was an eye opener. “I think the parent has learnt a lesson. He may have never imagined that the kid would never reach school,” she said.
Nakanjako says many parents “don’t want to fulfil their responsibilities of taking children to school and later picking them in the evening.”
Nakanjako said most working parents don’t come to pick children after school. The children are left to go home alone.