Corporal punishment in schools

2017-11-22 06:01

CORPORAL punishment is alive and well in schools. The speedy response of the KZN Department of Education to the alleged corporal punishment meted out to pupils at schools is commendable.

Such behaviour by someone entrusted with the life of a child is totally unacceptable, but it would be interesting to hear all sides of the story.

In a week when the smacking of one’s own children has been outlawed, one wonders where all of this will end.

Pupils in many rural schools are beaten every day by teachers and principals, with sticks, poly-cop pipe and anything else available, and in many instances departmental officials, including those in the district offices, are aware of this and do absolutely nothing.

The solution to such an allegation would be that it ought to be reported to the relevant authorities.

That is all good and well, but rural parents are often reticent to report such incidents because they are of the belief they are uneducated and the authorities are “super educated”, hence their complaints would fall on deaf ears, and they are even waved aside as being “uneducated”.

One way in which officials could check the validity of the claim that these children are beaten would be to view the situation incognito on an unannounced basis. They could merely sit outside the gates of schools and watch for themselves.

If the avenue open to parents is to report such abuse to the relevant authorities, then one encourages them to lay criminal charges at the police station and insist on charging not only the teachers, but the principals, and more importantly, departmental officials.

It is time for all entrusted with the well-being of our children to stand or fall on the sword.

LES STANLEY

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