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www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  2010   :  SZ Schools Apr 2010

-- THE ARCHIVE --


SWAZILAND
School CP - April 2010



Corpun file 22196

Swazi Observer, Mbabane, 16 April 2010

Only 4 strokes please -- Education Ministry

By Fanyana Mabuza


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The Ministry of Education and Training says it is concerned with the way pupils are being punished.

It notes that some schools have actually gone beyond the set down regulations of effecting corporal punishment. It has reminded teachers to administer legal corporal punishment that does not exceed the four strokes per child - no matter what the offence is. This follows the brutal beatings of five Somnjalose High School pupils recently, where each was given over 30 lashes on the buttocks. Teachers are allowed to effect the corporal punishment as per the rules and guidelines of the ministry, but this should happen in the presence of the school principal.

Questions

"The Somnjalose matter has raised so many questions on the ministry's reaction to this blatant abuse, but it can only be able to address the issue once a full report has been brought before it after an investigation by the Hhohho Regional Education Office (REO), has been completed," the ministry said in a statement.

Somnjalose Principal, Elliot Bhembe, has started an internal investigation into the matter and is talking to the concerned parties; the pupils, accused teacher and the Deputy Principal who was allegedly present on the day in question.

"After the school's investigations, the REO will then decide on the cause of action to be taken against the accused teacher. The Under Secretary (School's Manager Maqhawe Mavuso) will also look into the matter after a report from the REO."

The ministry's school guide on corporal punishment:

  • Punishment shall not exceed four strokes in the case of boys and girls under age 16. In the case of boys and girls over the age of 16 it shall be six strokes.
  • Every instance of corporal punishment shall be recorded forthwith, in a punishment book, the entry specifying the name of the pupil, the date and nature of the offence and the number of strokes administered.
  • All corporal punishment shall be administered in the buttocks and not on other parts of the body.
  • Corporal punishment shall not be meted out in public.
  • Any punishment administered outside the stipulated ones by the law will warrant disciplinary action by the ministry.

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