Four-year-old Ugandan boy in ‘child abuse’ video identified

Four-year-old Ugandan boy in 'child abuse' video identified
A screenshot of the incident at Marto nursery school

A young boy captured on video being beaten at a school has been identified as a four-year-old pupil at Marto nursery school in Kamwokya.

This publication obtained a video of the child being severely beaten by a male adult while a female teacher as well as other children stood and looked on. We have since established from the teachers at the school that the male adult is the child’s father.

They however declined to reveal the full identity of the parent. Marto nursery school is located off Mawanda road in Kamwokya, a stone-throw away from Mawanda road police station.

The child, whose names are withheld for ethical reasons, was reportedly being beaten incessantly for failure to take himself to school. Before the parent was called in, the child had received first round of beating from the teacher.

The child is usually dropped at the school by his six-year-old brother. Today, however, the brother who goes to a different school, did not drop the younger sibling at the school.

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 budge. The officer-in-charge Old Mulago police, Daniel Kyeyune told this publication that 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 wearing is for Marto nursery school.

Kyeyune says he got a boda boda cyclist and a police constable who he directed to take the child to his 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 our reporter that there is nothing she could do to stop the parent from punishing Makubuya.

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 questions 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 fulfill 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 on their own. Kyeyune promised to open a child torture file against the parent.