Poverty responsible for sex at universities – Prof Katunguka

A Parliamentary probe committee into sexual violence in education institutions has been told that little may be done to stop the vice as long as universities get lazy students or from broke families.

Appearing before the committee, Prof Elly Katunguka, the Vice Chancellor of Kyambogo University said that many students that come from broke families tend to engage in sexual relationship so as to raise money for their upkeep.

“One thing we have noted in our administration is that we have many students, especially girls who come to university and they don’t have adequate support from their parents or guardians. Many parents send these children to University and they don’t give them adequate support and these are lured into looking for opportunities to pay tuition fees and continue into education and most of them end up in sexual relationships with adults to be able to provide for them,” Katanguka said.

Katunguka had led Kyambogo University staff to appear alongside officials from the Ministry of Education and Sports before the committee, to explain the policy framework against sexual harassment in schools.

He said that while Kyambogo University developed a gender policy to prevent sexual harassment at the university, parents have failed to fulfil their obligations which has forced many students to explore other options for financial survival.

“What is also clear is that many of our young girls don’t want to work hard, they are lazy, they go into night clubbing and yet at the end of the day, they want to pass and they end up seducing lecturers into these relationships,” Katagunka said.

Education and Sports minister Janet Kataaha Museveni also put the blame on parents whom she said in most cases choose to cover up the accused rather than cooperate with law enforcement agencies in unearthing perpetrators.

” It is a problem that is affecting children even at home. We will do what we can do, but you must know that we should all be involved in fighting this evil,” the First Lady said.

The select committee was constituted following a motion by the National Female Youth MP Anna Adeke Ebaju calling for a Parliamentary inquest into the rampant cases of sexual violence in education institutions.

The Committee was asked to ascertain the causes and magnitude of sexual violence in educational institutions and its negative effects on the population; and to study and review laws against sexual violence in Uganda as well as the available policies for the management and control of sexual violence.