Sex in schools: MPs told porn videos, gay books to blame

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School administrators in Lira have blamed access and exposure to pornographic materials for the rise in cases of sexual harassment and violence.

The administrators of Lira Central Primary School told the Parliamentary Select Committee on Sexual Violence that some students and adults in the community are exposed to visual and print pornography, which has led to defilement and sexual relations among students.

The Committee, chaired by MP Robinah Rwakoojo (NRM, Gomba West) was at Lira Central Primary School on Tuesday, 27 November 2018, as part of its fact finding visit and investigations in northern Uganda.

Ms. Pamela Amongi, a Senior Woman Teacher, told the committee that exposure to pornographic material greatly affects students as they lose concentration in class, which in turn leads to deterioration in performance.

She said that two students had confessed to being distracted by the addiction to pornography.

“I have interacted with two students whose performance was deteriorating but I was shocked when they confessed that they had been watching pornographic movies and they feel so addicted to the movies which is affecting their time in school,” she said.

She blamed the laxity on parents who may have either brought home pornographic movies or failed to monitor what their children watch.

“I have witnessed a mother watching pornography with her daughters. When I intervened, the mother simply asked me to mind my business because they are living in the modern world,” she said.

Mr. Tony Owiny, a teacher at the same school, blamed the rise of sexual violence and harassment to the high levels of poverty amongst the population.

He said poverty had forced girls to seek material necessities from men who ask for sexual favours in return.

“I witnessed a primary five female student who started menstruation and couldn’t be supported by her single poor mother. She resorted to asking for such necessities from men who ended up sexually abusing her,” Owiny said.

It was also observed that several cases of sexual harassment and violence do not happen in school but in the outside community, and mostly involve boda boda riders offering girls free lifts to and from school.

Kioga County MP, Hon. Anthony Okello (NRM), called on the school management to consider checking all donor donated books as some of them may contain aspects of pornography or promote homosexuality.

“Schools should pay keen concern when receiving free books from donors. These books have been seen to carry teaching of sexual habits mostly homosexuality and lesbianism,” he said.

Hon. Stephen Kisa (NRM, Luuka South) advised teachers and parents to monitor all the content watched by children at school and home especially during this long holiday.

He also appealed to parents to watch educative programmes and also engage children in productive activities at home in order to keep them busy and away from television and the Internet.

“Parents should stop leaving their mobile phones with children because this is a serious danger. A child should not access a parent’s phone and a parent should not buy a phone for a young child,” he said adding that “This will help check and protect kids from accessing uncalled for information on mobile phones and Internet.”

The Parliamentary Select Committee was established in April and tasked to ascertain the causes and magnitude of sexual violence in educational institutions and its negative effects on the population.

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