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Minister probes ‘mad’ pupil’s 23 strokes beating

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By GUGU NDZABUKELWAKO - SWAZI TIMES-15-Sep-2009

MBABANE- Teachers should not take anger or frustrations out on pupils, rather wait until anger has subsided then punish pupils.

This was said by the Minister of Education, Wilson Ntshangase, who has condemned the actions of the Ekufikeni Primary teacher who allegedly severely beat pupil 23 times all over her body and is now mentally disturbed. In a telephone interview, the minister expressed disappointment in such actions and said all teachers are aware of the corporal punishment laws in the country.

“Pupils must be punished by not more than three strokes and this sort of punishment should be done by a teacher in the presence of either the School Principal or the Deputy Principal. Teachers should not take their anger out on the pupils, they should be very patient with them and very cautious”, Ntshangase said.

He also said there would be further investigations on the matter, and cannot comment on any form of disciplinary that will be taken against the teacher by the ministry for now. Save the Children Fund strongly condemns any violence against children especially in schools by teachers who do not follow guidelines set by the Ministry of Education in their book titled “A guide to school regulations and procedures”, page 32, section 11 on corporal punishment.

“We have started ttaining sessions and we have already trained 19 primary principals and again this month we are targeting 30 more primary schools. “We will later train high school principals, on corporal punishment’, said Elizabeth Kgololo, Save the Children Fund’s Public Relations Officer.

She said Save the Children has embarked on a series of workshops for teachers on ‘Positive Discipline versus Corporal punishment’, so as to address such problems of brutality on our children. Other principals said;

Simon Mthunzi of Ka-Boyce High School said ‘corporal punishment should be applied according to the rules of the Education Ministry, I think schools should consider scrapping off corporal punishment as a solution’. Simon Makhubu of Mhlatane High School said ‘corporal punishment is meant to scare the pupils and not to kill them, I believe without it there would be absolute chaos in the schools but it should be administered with care. What happened to the pupil was simply unfair to her’.


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