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PUPILS SUBJECTED TO ABUSE

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Sir,

Most people use the word discipline as a verb, one that is synonymous with punishment. One would say: I had to discipline that pupil. I prefer to use it as a noun that refers to the process of teaching someone the right way to do something, like: I taught my pupils to have discipline.


If most teachers could understand the difference between discipline and punishment, we would not be tackling issues of physical abuse perpetrated by teachers on our lovely children.


I’m a parent of children at Christ the King Primary School in Hlatikhulu. First of all let me applaud the school for shining and maintaining their 100 per cent pass rate in the Grade VII results. However, the pupils in this school are subjected to physical and emotional abuse, to name a few of my observations.

Some of us have been to the school several times to literally beg teachers to be lenient and be considerate when dealing with the pupils in as far as discipline is concerned. The school’s administration is doing nothing to protect our children. Pupils are slapped with open hands, pinched in their arms, ears and even the lips and cheeks are touched by these teachers who call themselves professionals. Sometimes our children are pulled by their hair.


Discipline


If a teacher can go to the extent of touching the lips and cheeks of a pupil, claiming it is discipline, what else will he touch? Buttocks and breasts?
What exactly are they teaching the children; to be bullies, abusers and haters? The use of corporal punishment is still official at Christ the King Primary School and children are undressed in front of others in order to be beaten a countless number of strokes.


This happens in almost all the grades, but there is one exceptional teacher in Grade VII, who thinks he is above the law. We appeal to the Ministry of Education to intervene and not be deceived by the 100 per cent pass rate in Grade VII, which is obtained in very unorthodox and brutal means. Can the ministry conduct an inspection and deal with the perpetrators before parents take drastic measures to solve the problem.

Unhappy parent

NOTE: In an effort to afford the school the right to reply, this letter was emailed to the head teacher. And when a follow-up call was made, she said it was unfortunate that the parent decided to run to the media to talk to them. She said there were laid down procedures that are known by all parents of children at the school, which they should follow when they felt aggrieved. Failing which parents are encouraged to approach the Ministry of Education to raise their concerns instead of rushing to the media.

Ed


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