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Corpun file 24576 at www.corpun.com
Times of Swaziland, Mbabane, 27 June 2013
Teacher reported to police for giving pupil 19 strokes
By Mbongeni Ndlela
PIGG'S PEAK -- A teacher at Mhlatane High School has been reported to the police for allegedly giving a Form V female pupil 19 strokes. The pupil was given four strokes on the hand, and then received 15 strokes on the buttocks.
The teacher will not be identified for now because he has not made a court appearance.
It has been gathered that the pupil had failed to show up for school on the Saturday (June 22, 2013).
As a result of the thrashing, the 17-year-old pupil cannot sit properly and has difficulty walking.
The corporal punishment was served over two days.
It has been established that on Monday the school conducted a checklist of all the pupils who had not attended Saturday's lessons. During the exercise, it transpired, according to sources close to the matter, that the pupil was on the list of those who absconded. The name of the pupil has been deliberately withheld.
Interviewed by the Times on Tuesday afternoon, the pupil said she told the teacher that the reason she did not come to school on the said day was because her parent had sent her to Manzini.
"I created this story to the teacher because I was afraid to tell him the truth. The reason I did not attend school on Saturday was because I was suffering from severe period pains. My family was also aware of my condition, hence they approved my stay. On Monday he thrashed me seven times and on Tuesday he gave me 11 strokes," she said.
She said after the beating she was ordered to go to class and was later taken to the Pigg's Peak Government Hospital for treatment.
She was taken to the hospital by one of the teachers who is a relative. Superintendent Wendy Hleta, Police Public Relations Officer, yesterday confirmed the incident. She said the matter was reported to the police and investigations were ongoing.
"As police we will consult with the Ministry of Education and Training to help us with the legal number of strokes that should be meted out to pupils. It would be after such consultation has been done that the matter will be taken for prosecution," Hleta said.
Minister of Education condemns act
PIGG'S PEAK -- Minister of Education and Training Wilson Ntshangase has condemned the act by the teacher who is accused of allegedly thrashing a pupil 19 times.
Speaking against corporal punishment, the minister said teachers should be aware that pupils are not slaves hence they should be treated with the respect they deserve.
"As a ministry we have addressed the issue of corporal punishment a countless number of times. We have warned that teachers should stop using corporal punishment -- only head teachers and their deputies are allowed to punish pupils. Even though the teacher qualifies to mete out punishment, it was wrong for him to beat the child above the legal strokes.
He should have asked a female teacher to do it in his presence because he is male. Children are not slaves and should not be treated as such," the minister said. He said Saturdays are not official school days, hence no pupil should be punished for not going to school on this day.
"I think the school should have engaged the pupil's guardian to first find out the reason that made the child not go to school. Beating the child was very wrong," he said. Ntshangase said the Ministry of Education school rules and regulations stipulate that a pupil should receive three to six strokes.
All material © Times of Swaziland.
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