Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A number of private schools around Kampala have intensified security surveillance in an effort to protect pupils from possible kidnappers. The move follows an increase in kidnaps for ransom, involving both children and adults.
In an interview with Uganda Radio Network, the Principal Administrator at Kampala Parents School Daphine Kato says as a measure of security, all parents are tasked to bring and pick their children from school in person. The school has also installed CCTV Camera’s around the premises to ensure 24-hour surveillance of the facility.
Kampala Parents school is battling a case filed a four-year-old pupil for neglecting its responsibilities leading to her kidnap, more than one year ago. The minor, Faith Emmanuel Poni, filed the suit through her next friend Brian Kasajja suing the school alongside its staff Annet Kirabo Namusoke and Daphne Kato, the Principal Administrator.
The girl, a daughter of Emmanuel Daud Tombe, the South Sudan Consul in Uganda was kidnapped from Kampala Parents School on March 14, 2017, and held captive for four days. Her captors demanded a ransom of 18 million Shillings from her parents before her rescue by the Police Flying Squad.
She later faulted the school for failing to provide an adequate system of supervision and surveillance on its employees and failing to have a clear security system on child safety resulting into her kidnap on the fateful day. She also faulted the teacher and the administrator for willful failure to notice a non-authorized person who entered the school during official working hours.
However, Kato says all stakeholders should work for the safety of the children since they are a resource of the nation.
Security Cameras are equally visible in Kabojja Junior School in Kololo and a number of other private schools in the suburbs of the city. At Greenhill academy, whoever picks a child signs in a book that is controlled by the class teachers?.
Margaret Musoke, a parent who spoke to Uganda Radio Network cautioned parents against allowing minors to commute without adults in sight. She says given the trend of criminal acts against children within Kampala and upcountry towns, parents should be mindful of the security of their children without compromise.
But the situation is not the same in Naguru Katali Primary School, one of the UPE schools in Kampala, where Patrick Kakome, the head teacher could not divulge any information, referring our reporter to Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA.
A spot check by URN in the slum areas of Kamwokya indicated that a number of school guards are not bothered, and allow free entry and exit of strangers to the school premises, a signal that children could easily be exposed to danger.