Kidnaps: Masaka authorities issue tough rules for schools
As schools opened for this year’s second academic term, authorities in Masaka Municipality announced stringent measures that all education institutions in the area have to adhere to in order to avoid possible cases of kidnap of school children.
Some 10 rules have been issued by the municipal authorities following two cases of attempted kidnap of children from Ultra Tender Care Kindergarten.
Under the new rules, no school is expected to open before 8am, and must close by 5pm to avoid cases of school children moving in the dark.
Parents and guardians must be issued with identification cards with a passport photo of both a child and a parent to ably help the security officers at the school identify who is picking a child.
According to the Municipality’s education officer, Stephen Kafeero, the school heads have also been instructed to provide their drivers with identification cards that shall be displayed in front of the vehicle for a parent or guardian to easily identify the driver.
Kafeero also warns that parents should be cautious about the motor cyclists whom they entrust their children with.
“Most parents here in Masaka Municipality seem to be busy and let their children be taken to school by boda-boda riders without even knowing their places of residence, but only identify them with contact numbers and faces,” Kakeeto warned.
Kafeero said that the guidelines are based on the provisions of Section 44(3) of the Education Act 2008 which mandates the Minister or District Education Officer to issue from time to time instructions to school owners in respect of management of schools with view of safe guarding the interests of the pupils.
The Masaka Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Lt Joe Walusimbi welcomed the new measures.
“Carelessness has taken a number of people’s lives but we shall work hand in hand with parents to solve the kidnap problems,” Walusimbi said.
Walusimbi said, the district security committee had put security teams are on the alert, and warned of dire consequences for any adamant school owners.
Last week, the Inspector General of Police John Martin Okoth Ochola reported that the police had registered about 42 cases of kidnaps over the past three months.
Of the 42 cases, eight cases had resulted into murder.