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School CP - December 1998
Swazi Observer, Mbabane, 11 December 1998
Primary school pupils smoke dagga, wear capsBy Yussuf Mohammed
DISCIPLINE at Mhlosheni North Methodist Primary School, has eroded so much that students are said to smoke dagga, wear caps and jeans to class, instead of the school uniform.
Headmaster of the school, Daniel Dlamini, said efforts to discipline the students have failed and blamed it all on children from South Africa who influenced the local students.
Dlamini told Deputy Prime Minister, Arthur Khoza yesterday that female students of the school had taken to wearing jeans at school and he said that was mainly done by those residing in Mpumalanga, South Africa.
This was during the official opening of a Home Economics class at the school, which is very close to the Matsamo border with South Africa.
Swazi students who attend school there come from areas including Mashobeni, Ndlalambi, Msahweni and Hhohho.
"The students are now misbehaving. They wear caps in classrooms and whenever we warn them against that, they say it's their right," said the Headmaster. "These students copy from their colleagues from Mpumalanga who started this thing of wearing caps in classrooms."
Dlamini said he tried to stop the bad trend, but the students were uncontrollable. "It is difficult to discipline our children because some teachers are also undisciplined," he complained.
Albert Mamba, a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Timphisini constituency, said he also received reports from the headmaster that the students were wearing caps in classrooms.
"I have heard that the students wear caps at school. Although the teachers beat them, they are not prepared to change," said MP Mamba. "Even at their homesteads, they wear caps and they smoke dagga in public places."
The MP said this was orchestrated by parents who are against corporal punishment.
"Even if a teacher can beat a child, the child's parents come and call the teacher names," he said.
The horrendous acts by the students were also condemned by Indvuna Yenkhundla for Timphisini, Stephen Dlamini.
"This is bad indeed. These children will find themselves without a future because without education, they will be useless. However, we will try the best we can to do away with such things."
The Deputy Prime Minister, however, did not respond to the complaints.
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