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Lusoti teachers go on mass punishment spree

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MBABANE – Teachers at Lusoti Primary School went on a mass corporal punishment spree on all the pupils at the school much to the shock of parents.

Although this happened on April 18 this year, emotional scars seemingly have rather remained with some of the parents of the pupils who felt that the teachers went too far. They wanted the Ministry of Education and Training to examine the matter closely.

The school’s principal, Khanyisile Shongwe, admitted in an interview yesterday that this indeed happened and even apologised to the parents.

She was, however, surprised that some parents had not let this matter be put to rest because they had informed this newspaper.

A parent, who preferred to remain anonymous, related through a letter to the editor that the pupils were beaten while at assembly for making noise. What this parent found disturbing, however, was that the source of the noise was identified, yet, all the pupils from the first to senior grades were caned.

"What is saddening is that the principal was told the culprits were in Grade IV, but she just ordered the teachers to beat all the children," alleged the parent.

The parent went on: "My question to the principal is why then beat all the innocent children, especially those in the lower grades?"


The parent also alleged that this was done with the help of the school cook, who decided to grab the children who were pushing backwards in fear of being caned.

"The principal had the guts to tell the pupils that ‘tifangamvuyinye’ (they all suffer for one). What is that really? How can you beat pupils in Grades I to Grade III as if you are beating someone who is in Grade VII?" wondered the parent.

Furthermore, the pupils were allegedly made to stand under the scorching sun for an hour and ordered to sing.

There was an allegation that some pupils even collapsed as a result of this.

As if the teachers enjoyed this episode, the parent alleged they told the children that they were grateful for letting them mete out corporal punishment before the begining of first term holidays.

Meanwhile, the principal said she and the administration realised that what had happened was wrong and called parents to a meeting at the beginning of the second school term.

"No parent approached the school to formally lodge a complaint, but we took the initiative to apologise.

"We don’t condone corporal punishment in this school but it may happen that some teachers do it covertly," she said.

... Save the Children condemns mass beating


MBABANE – Save the Children Swaziland has condemned the mass beating of the pupils as a violation of human rights.

Dumisani Mnisi, the orga-nisation’s Director, yesterday said it was clearly unacceptable the manner in which the corporal punishment was carried out.

He said policy stipulated that only the principal can mete out corporal punishment instead of teachers.

"We acknowledge that pupils in schools must be disciplined sometimes but we, as Save the Children, advocate for positive disciplining. Corporal punishment is just venting out anger and has no element of correction for the one receiving it," explained Mnisi.

Meanwhile, Patrick Muir, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Training could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone was switched off for the better part of yesterday.


The last call was made at 5pm, but was not answered even though it had been switched on.

The Minister, Wilson Ntshangase, also did not answer when he too was called at 5pm.

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