Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Minister of State for Education and Sport responsible for Primary Education, has called on school leaders to be cautious and vigilant to address the ongoing problem of school fires.
The Minister of State for Education and Sport in charge of Primary Education, Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu has called on school heads to be cautious and vigilant saying it is the only way they can tackle the ongoing problem of school fires.
Minister Moriku made the remarks on Tuesday, while she officiated at the Stir Education – MCF Secondary Project conference at Kampala Serena Hotel.
She said as a place that houses individuals of different kinds, schools are supposed to be gazetted with properly demarcated entry and exit points.
Moriku said once this is done, it is easy to know who is a visitor and who is not. As well, she advised schools to consider setting up operational CCTV cameras to help monitor both inmates and those intending to sneak into their premises.
“Every school is supposed to have a secure and non-porous perimeter fence. We are supposed to have a perimeter fence that cannot allow somebody to jump over. I want to remind our administrators, we need controlled access to the premises in schools,” she said.
“Another measure that was put in place is to ensure safety within the premises is that schools should recruit guards and they should be vetted. They should be trained in basic security and safety measures.”
In addition, she added that students upon return for new terms should always be checked because some can easily sneak in drugs, paraffin and matchboxes with other intentions.
Her statement comes only days following the devastating news of a fire outbreak at Bilal Islamic School in Bwaise on Sunday, February 27, 2022, involving two dormitories with several other properties also diminished in the process.
Close to five schools have been reported to have caught fire since the latest reopening after a two-year Covid-19 scare.
Speaking shortly about the fires, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Deputy Spokesperson John Kikonyogo likened the ongoing school fires to terrorism attacks.
“Since the reopening of schools, we have had not less than five school fires. This is disturbing for our country, our parents and at this rare, we should regard the act as a serious form of terrorism,” Kikonyogo said.
“In the laws of UG, we define terrorism as an act of violence carried out for purposes of influencing gov’t or an international organization or intimidating the public and for a political, religious, social and economic aim, indiscriminately without due regard to the safety of others or property. We take this act of burning schools as terrorism,” he added.