Road safety to be taught in upper primary schools

Government will include road safety in the upper primary school curriculum to sensitize pupils about road use as one of the ways to reduce accidents on Ugandan roads.

The development was revealed by the commissioner of transport regulation and safety in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Winston Katushabe during the relaunch of the heads-up campaign by VIVO Energy Uganda, aimed at addressing the safety concerns of children who commute to and from school on boda-bodas without wearing recommended safety helmets.

“It is high time we sensitise our children about road safety. As a ministry we have a curriculum developed for lower primary on road safety but we still have challenges with people who are well trained in this area. We intend to roll this even for upper primary. We write to the Ministry of Education and engage them on how this can be rolled out and have people appreciate road safety from primary up to may be university,” Katushabe said.

Commenting about the same, the state minister for Primary Education, Dr. Moricu Kaducu confirmed plans are underway to have road safety taught in primary school.

“We rolled out road safety in lower primary section in 2011 but it hasn’t achieved the intended benefits and we need to do more.  Going forward, we are to engage Ministry of Transport to see how best we can develop a curriculum (for upper primary) which content to be included and be taught. Without agreeing what to teach, it is difficult to roll it out,” Kaducu said.

“Most importantly, we want to see to it that we take opportunity in every school material coming out. For example, we are discussing the possibility of ensuring the covers of all text books having a message of road safety. If we have the same road safety tips behind the text books, it will add value to our children. This is something we are discussing and the many avenues to include road safety tips for children in upper primary schools.”

New campaign

According to Johan Grobbelaar, the Vivo Energy Uganda Managing Director, the head up campaign seeks to raise awareness about the importance of using child-specific helmets, ensuring the safety of young passengers.

To this, he said Vivo Energy Uganda will distribute over 1000 helmets to at least 50 schools around the country.

“By promoting responsible road habits and advocating for the adoption of child-specific helmets, we strive to create a safer environment and protect the well-being of children traveling on boda-bodas. We need to look at road safety and awareness at school as something crucial. We need to see how we can educate our children about road safety,” Grobbelaar said.

“There should be a golden rule for children that before they sit onto motorcycles, they wear helmets. This is aimed at protecting their lives. Since every child deserves a safe ride, every boda boda rider needs to be sensitized about road safety. We should all remember that our actions have power to protect the lives of the young passengers.”

The State Minister for Primary Education, Dr. Moricu Kaducu said the safety of children is key while they travel to and from school as they travel on motorcycles.

“This issue of child safety while on the road has been overlooked by many. Motorcyclists are the largest perpetuators of violation of traffic guidelines in terms of speed, not using helmets and no reflector jackets. Many of riders lack basic training in road safety and don’t have riding permits . All these lead to accidents and innocent learners and souls get involved in accidents.”

The minister noted that boda bodas account for the largest number of accidents which have cost the country many lives.

“Statistics from the Ministry of Health show road traffic accidents are the biggest  cause of hospital congestion.”

The Kampala Metropolitan traffic police commander, Rogers Nsereko said having helmets for passengers and riders is key while on the road.

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