Inculcating Values in Street Children as a Mechanism for Supporting Their Integral Education: a Case Study of Childcare Institutions in Masaka Municipality
Author: Muwuluzi Ivan Bakka
Supervisor: John Mary Mooka kamweri
While children are acclimated to harsh life, they are not used to discipline in their lives, thus to help them achieve integral growth as lifelong skills call for attitude change through integral education for their socialization.While studies have been conducted on childhood development, however, in Masaka Municipality, there was no policy document clearly articulating the contribution of Childcare institutions in inculcating values in street children as a mechanism for supporting their integral education; this is what motivated me to conduct the present study. The sample population was drawn from three divisions in the Municipality; Nyendo-Ssenyange, Katwe-Butego and Kimaanya-Kyabakuza. The study objectives were: to find out existing methods of inculcating values in children as a mechanism for supporting their integral education; to assess the contribution of childcare institutions in inculcating values; to analyze the challenges faced when inculcating values. The study adopted a qualitative approach with a total 67 participants, using a case study design. The method guided the use of 51 interviews to 1 CDO, 4 social workers, 2 institutional administrators, 3 religious leaders as well as 15 community members, as well as 20 street children and 6 institution graduates; also 16 children aged 15-17 years participated in 2 FGDs. The Bowlby’s attachment theory of socialization (1979) on early childhood guided the study. During data analysis, a verbatim transcript of interview and FGDs were produced, identifiers removed and data was coded in a code book by identifying the open and axial nodes to get the relationship and differences of data collected. Ethical issues of getting consent, protecting participant from harm, and confidentiality especially on children were considered.
It was revealed that resorting to street life is often a result of defilement, domestic violence, child labor, denial of education, and, step-parents or teachers hurling insults at children. Abusing children emotionally and psychologically make them hate home, and parents thus resorting to streets. The findings on the existing methods used for inculcating values in children, some respondents such as institution administrators affirmed using parenting method through child-social worker attachment to instruct social and human values such as self-esteem, assertiveness and honesty that encourage autonomy and self-regulation of children. However, many respondents challenged institutions on this putting that many are running back to streets after failing to adjust in villages, to them behavior control can best be done by real parents or close relatives. The other methods mentioned to be effective are; use of social clubs called child’s parliament that are helping children to socialize, air out the grievances and be able practice their independent thinking; lastly, the use of religious institutions that provide spiritual counselling to acclimated children to harsh conditions thus strengthening child’s moral integrity enabling them to live equitably within society thus developing a high social capital. In the study findings new themes emerged as respondents justified the nuances about gender attachment to children; sons were more preferred to take care of the family, remain living in their parents’ home and continue the family line. To others daughters are source of wealth to the family through bride price, in-laws take care of the parents when are sick or buy food. During data analysis this was considered and found to be extremely important in cultural context for parents to embrace their roles in child upbringing. However, they are plagued with challenges including poor institution administrative styles, failure to define which values to emphasize in disciplinary management, lack of staff motivation and educators’ unethical behavior as well as poor home formation and globalization.
Key Words: Child care Institutions, Integral Education, Street children.