By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Education:
Limpopo MEC for Education, Ishmael Kgetjepe, must urgently take action against teachers who still use corporal punishment in our schools, and to fire those guilty of beating.
The DA will table a motion on this issue in the Limpopo Legislature today for debate and to implement more stringent vetting mechanisms for teachers. Our Provincial Legislature must urgently discuss this horrible incident, and must move for the MEC to take action.
It is alleged that a six year old boy from Mannyetha Primary School in Apel was beaten by his teacher with a stick after failing to give the correct answer and suffered internal bleeding as a result.
The Grade 1 learner had to miss the mid-year examinations and spent two weeks in hospital as a result of the teacher’s beating. He underwent an operation on his hand and his parents were forced to take him to another school as he was too scared to face this teacher.
Despite the incident the department failed to suspend the teacher or to initiate immediate disciplinary process against her.
Apart from this incident, the DA has witnessed another teacher at Kopano High School in Lebowakgomo assaulting a learner, during an oversight visit recently.
The learner was making noise and the teacher beat the learner with her bare hands on the head. Click here to see the video.
The DA believes these incidents are not isolated and are happening in many schools across the province.
Corporal punishment is a violation of children’s rights and it was abolished in September 1997.
The DA is also formulating a complaint to the Human Rights Commission to probe all incidents of corporal punishment in Limpopo schools.