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Uganda: Students Strike Over Mini-Skirt Ban





More than 1,300 students of Aduku Secondary School, Apac District, have been sent home following a violent strike which resulted into the destruction of school property worth about Shs100 million.
School authorities said the last Saturday night strike was sparked off by a ban on wearing of mini-skirts and tight trousers.
Last week, the school administration confiscated all mini-skirts and tight trousers, a move which reportedly annoyed the students. Aduku SS is an Anglican-founded mixed O and A-level boarding school.
Before the strike, the students had also claimed that they were not comfortable with having porridge for breakfast early in the morning at 6am, the time when they should still be enjoying their sleep.
The headmaster, Mr Patrick Okwir Angulo, said last term, they issued a circular to all parents warning that mini-skirts and tight trousers would not be allowed in school. This was after it was realised that girls cut their long skirts and saw them into mini-skirts. Boys were also reducing the sise of their normal trousers making them tight.
"During the opening of this term, teachers were deployed at the school gate to check the kind of uniforms students had come with," Mr Okwir told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview on Sunday evening.
Mini-skirts and tight trousers were confiscated and cut into pieces. But those that could be resized were kept in the school store and will be given back to the owners at the end of the term.
The headmaster said that was a way of instilling discipline in the students and added that the wearing of non uniforms at school has been banned.
The culprits
But a group of about 10 students from Senior Three allegedly mobilised and spearheaded the strike last Saturday. They reportedly pulled down a wall fence measuring 307 metres, which they say limited their movement outside the school.
"They also tried to push down the wall fence from the girls' wing, but the girls never came out to join them in the strike," Mr Okwir said.
He said the students broke into the computer laboratory and destroyed all the computers by pouring sewerage on them. The protesters also broke all the window panes.
The district police commander, Mr Alfonse Ojangole, and the district education officer, Mr Billy Okunyu, visited the school on Sunday and talked to the students before they were all sent home for 10 days.
This newspaper understands that there will be a joint Parents Teachers' Association (PTA) and Board of Governor meeting on Wednesday to agree on a way forward.
The strike
A group of about 10 students from Senior Three allegedly mobilised and spearheaded the strike on Saturday. They reportedly pulled down a wall fence measuring 307 metres, which they say limited their movement outside the school.
Khabza Mkhize

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