Sjam­bokking at school is un­ac­cept­able

CityPress - - Voices -

A95% ma­tric pass rate last year, 92% of pupils ob­tain­ing univer­sity en­trances and 83% get­ting dis­tinc­tions. Any par­ent wouldn’t think twice about en­rolling their child at a school that achieves these re­sults.

But this is only one side of the story as you read it from the web­site of the Cefups Academy.

A pri­vate col­lege started by Si­mon Mkhatshwa in 1992, the aim of the Mpumalanga school is to make a re­mark­able im­pact on the lives of young South Africans and chil­dren across the re­gion.

The other side of the story, which you will not find on the school’s web­site, is that your chil­dren stand a good chance of be­ing sjam­bokked at some point. The sjam­bokking is not con­fined to the school­child­ren; it ap­plies to the teach­ers too.

Mkhatshwa has been con­victed for beat­ing a teacher in 1999. Sev­eral other teach­ers have been con­victed for beat­ing chil­dren so se­verely that a few were ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal for treat­ment.

The SA Schools Act out­laws cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment at all schools.

But the ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment has not taken any ac­tion against the use of cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment at this school.

This week, a 19-year-old fe­male stu­dent was al­legedly sjam­bokked so badly by teach­ers that she was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal and later died.

Chil­dren should not have to suf­fer and die for the sake of a good ed­u­ca­tion. The ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment has launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but what will be the out­come of this? It is un­fath­omable that it has come to this. This in­ci­dent calls for tough ac­tion from the ed­u­ca­tion au­thor­i­ties.

If any school re­fuses to abide by the val­ues en­shrined in the Con­sti­tu­tion, it should be closed down im­me­di­ately.

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