Investigation launched into teachers accused of assault and corporal punishment in Eastern Cape schools

Investigation launched into teachers accused of assault and corporal punishment in Eastern Cape schools

…By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media. The Eastern Cape Department of Education is currently investigating at least six teachers in various schools for assault and corporal punishment.

This comes in the wake of allegations by matriculants at a school in KwaBhaca that their principal had beaten them with a hosepipe after they had missed an early morning class.

Provincial education spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima revealed that three teachers were dismissed last year, and another resigned earlier this year, for the same offence.

It is understood that grade 12 learners at Huku Senior Secondary School were expected to attend a class at 6am but failed to do so, stating that the roads were still dark and dangerous at that time.

The learners were reportedly hit on the hands and legs by the principal using a hosepipe.

Images of one of the learners’ wounds and severe bruising were shared on social media, with demands that the education department intervene.

Corporal punishment was banned in South African schools years ago.

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The principal has been placed on precautionary suspension, pending the investigation.

Despite its banning, corporal punishment is still reportedly being used as a form of discipline in South African schools, with significant proportions of school violence reported by learners linked to the punishment.

It is essential for teachers to be trained in alternative methods of discipline, and the Department of Basic Education’s Protocol to Deal with Incidents of Corporal Punishment in Schools provides clear guidance to officials at school, district, and provincial levels.

Learners, caregivers, and parents can report incidents of corporal punishment to the South African Police Service and the South African Council of Educators to ensure that implicated educators can be investigated and disciplined accordingly.

Those affected can also contact the Equal Education Law Centre.

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