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‘CORPORAL PUNISHMENT BAN NOT LAW’

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MANZINI - In what could be termed as a corporal punishment dilemma, it appears that teachers can bash pupils and not get punished.


This is because the case of one of the former St Theresa’s Primary School pupils, who were given an examination ‘warm-up’ before they sat for their 2018 final examinations, will not see the light of day.


According to a parent of the pupil who opened a case against the teachers who caned them, he was called by the policeman, who was investigating the case last week. The parent claims he was told that he should see the prosecutors at the Manzini Magistrates Court on Monday at 11am.


“The investigator told me that he had done his part as the matter is now in the hands of the prosecutors,” the parent said.


Prosecute


He said when he got to the prosecutors’ office on Monday, he was attended to by a female prosecutor, who told him that they could not prosecute his daughter’s case  because there was no legal instrument which confirms that corporal punishment was abolished in schools in the country.


“She told me that she had looked into the docket and she was actually on the verge of throwing out the case because she had found that there is no case to prosecute,” the parent alleged.


He said when he probed her further on the issue, she told him about the lack of written documents that verify that corporal punishment was indeed abolished in schools.


In fact, the parent said the prosecutor allegedly told him that the issue of abolishing corporal punishment was only done verbally as there was no written law which they could use to prosecute such matters.


Furthermore, the parent said the prosecutor told him that educators were currently using regulations of schools, which talk about positive discipline. However, he alleged that the prosecutor said the regulation of schools did not define what entailed positive discipline.


“She said if she could bring the teachers to court, they might say according to the school guide, it is written that a child shall be punished with the permission of the head teacher and a female teacher should administer the discipline,” he said.
Thereafter, he said he asked the prosecutor if what she was saying meant that corporal punishment was still in force.
“She said no but yes,” he alleged.


He said he told her that ‘no but yes’ did not work as it should be either yes or no.
He said it was then that the prosecutor said this was because even the investigator did not furnish her with any document that states clearly that corporal punishment was abolished in schools in the country.


“She said in principle, corporal punishment was abolished but by law it is still there and that makes it difficult to prosecute the case,” alleged the parent.
Again, the parent alleged that the only thing that could make the case exist was if he could get an instrument that clearly states that corporal punishment was abolished in schools.
He said she emphasised that without the instrument which states that corporal punishment was abolished, there was nothing they could do.


Deny


On top of that, the parent alleged that the prosecutor did not deny that the child was beaten as per the doctor’s report, head teacher, teachers together with the statements which were recorded by the police confirm.

 

 

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