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School CP - April 2005
East London Daily Dispatch, 21 April 2005
Outrage over pupil's caning
By Mvuyo Mati and Mayibongwe Maqhina
EVIDENCE: David Mama Senior Secondary School matric pupil Asanda Ngabase shows the bruises she sustained from being beaten by a teacher last week. Picture by ALAN EASON
MDANTSANE Angry pupils at a school here boycotted lessons after a teacher whacked a girl, raising welts on her arm.
The teacher now faces departmental and possibly criminal action.
Tuition at David Mama Senior Secondary School in Zone 1 ground to a halt on Friday as angry learners refused to go to class.
At the centre of their protest was the deputy school principal, Ondla Rubushe, whom pupils accused of using excessive punishment on a Grade 12 girl, Asanda Ngabase.
Yesterday, Ngabase, 18, said she and a group of classmates had been clowning around and laughing when Rubushe stormed into their classroom.
She said Rubushe demanded to know from the class who was making a noise and her classmates pointed to her.
He ordered me to immediately report to his office where he whipped me with a cane, she said.
Ngabase showed the Daily Dispatch the three bruises on her right forearm.
Since I was not the only one laughing in the classroom, the deputy principal was wrong to punish me alone, she complained.
Other schoolmates alleged that this was not the first time that Rubushe had assaulted a learner.
Last night the Education Department's superintendent-general Dave Edley said the teacher involved would face the consequences if the incident was confirmed.
Corporal punishment is totally outlawed ... We will not accept it. There is no excuse for corporal punishment under any circumstances, he said.
We will as the department follow it up and get deeper into it.
He said the learner concerned could get her parents to open assault charges with the police.
South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary Mxolisi Dimaza also condemned the incident, saying corporal punishment was abolished a long time ago.
As a union, in our meetings, we say to our members never exercise corporal punishment as it may lead to disciplinary action by the department, Dimaza said.
He called for a full investigation.
After last week's incident, the outraged grades 10, 11 and 12 pupils gathered outside the classrooms.
They refused to go inside until their demand for action to be taken against the deputy principal had been addressed, saying they were angered by Rubushe's attitude towards them.
They agreed to return to class only after negotiations between their school representative council, the school governing body and the school management team.
The pupils said they wanted some action from the Department of Education to prevent Rubushe from hurting other learners.
The principal, Nonceba Tofile, who confirmed last week's incident, accused the Daily Dispatch of interfering with the school's internal problems.
There was a minor problem which we have managed to solve, and there is nothing in it that needs the Daily Dispatch, she said.
Retired ANC MPL Alfred Metele visited the school and said he had told the staff to stop beating the children.
I told them that corporal punishment could result in dismissal, said Metele, who was a member of the standing committee on education. He was told that the teacher concerned had apologised in front of dismissal, said Metele, who was a member of the standing committee on education. He was told that the teacher concerned had apologised in front of family.
He was also told that the pupil had been rude to the deputy principal who then became angry and acted in the manner in which he did.
Both the teacher and pupil have admitted some wrongdoing, he said.
East London Daily Dispatch, 23 April 2005
Letters to the Editor
Corporal punishment # 1
AS THE ANC Youth League in the Eastern Cape Province we want to salute the entire community.
As the young lions in the Eastern Cape we are shocked with the reported incident that took place at David Mama High School in Mdantsane (DD April 21).
We call upon the Departments of Justice and Education to take drastic action against those who break the law and to set an example with the educator of David Mama. They should ensure such incidents do not take place again. The ANC Youth League will monitor the situation. For more information contact the communication desk on 082 925 9799. — ANC Youth League
Corporal punishment # 2
CORPORAL punishment is outlawed in South Africa, and what is the result? Decline in the Grade 12 pass rate and increase in crime.
At the end of the year every government official is up in arms about the low pass rate, and the poor educators have to be on the receiving end.
Our government seems to forget that there is a principle which God put in action, and that is: "You reap what you sow." You cannot expect to reap wisdom when you sow ignorance.
God in His word has clearly told us that in every child there is lack of understanding and this can be taken out by the rod.
Don't get me wrong, I am not saying children should be abused; God does not say that either. You can still correct a child with a rod in a loving way.
What happened at David Mama was maybe a little overboard, but to put such a story on the front page of the community paper is something that does not make sense at all.
Those young innocent kids, who are hungry for correction, have been encouraged to be lawless. An educator has been "forced" to apologise to this silly kid who admitted clowning around, in front of other kids.
Surprisingly the kid, who also admitted doing wrong, was not asked to apologise to the educator.
Where are we taking this beautiful country of ours? What kind of a generation are we building?
South Africa wake up before it is too late. — Lubanga Lubanga, Amalinda
Natal Mercury, Durban, 27 April 2005
Corporal punishment should be reinstated
The Mercury's editorial "School Order" (April 12) refers: I do not understand how you can be surprised at the number of parents "still favouring carefully measured discipline of this kind". Our numbers are legion.
You go on to say that no effective replacement for the cane has been found. Corporal punishment is not perfect, but it worked in the majority of cases where it was applied, in that it taught the difference between right and wrong, and acted as a deterrent against repeat offences.
It should be reinstated (under stricter control than previously) until such time as an effective replacement can be found.
M B Evans
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