‘When we engage with some of the teachers they tell us that parents tell them to beat up kids’
Pretoria – Teachers caught up in corporal punishment investigations will face criminal charges, the South African Council for Educators has warned.
Spokesperson Themba Ndlovu said they were receiving a number of complaints about corporal punishment in schools.
Similarly, Ndlovu said they were fully aware some schools did not report cases.
“When we engage with some of the teachers they tell us that parents tell them to beat up kids because when they were still growing up they were beaten,” he said.
He said they always warned teachers not to use corporal punishment and that it was illegal.
Teacher Tammy Dunkeld said her nanny’s daughter was beaten up by a teacher at another school.
Dunkeld said the Grade 2 child arrived home last week from school and told them she had been hit with a ruler because her homework was not done the way the teacher wanted. She said the school had not done anything about this, and the child protection division of the police had not given her support.
“This education system is failing our children. Teachers in our country who believe they have the right to do this to children need to be taken to task,” she said.
A mother said that last year her daughter was beaten up severely by the teacher.
She spoke to the school management. They apologised and said it would never happen again.
However, the child was beaten up again last week.
“She is so traumatised and does not even want to go back to school. I had to convince her that it would not happen again and if it did she should tell me so I can do something immediately. It hurts me to see my baby scared like this,” she said.
The mother said she suspected that her child was not the only one beaten at the school and suggested a different method of disciplining children be used.
Provincial Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona said corporal punishment was outlawed and was not acceptable in schools.
He said any punishment was tantamount to a criminal case.
“Parents are advised to report the matter to school management, the principal or to the police accordingly,” he said.