Some children in Swaziland are dropping out of school because they fear being beaten by their teachers.
Ministry of Education and Training Inspector of Schools Hubert Dlamini spoke at a meeting of senior officials of the Ministry of Education and Training and Save the Children Swaziland in Piggs Peak.
The Swazi Observer (28 September 2017) reported him saying, ‘Children are scared of going to school in this day and age, in the past children never dropped out of school in Grade One, but now UN [United Nations] has confirmed that this anomaly is happening in Swaziland.
‘The truth is, children are afraid of going to school where their self-esteem is being constantly ridiculed by corporal punishment or verbal abuse from teachers, who are failing to connect with their pupils. In the past, teachers would connect with all pupils, but now we see teachers only connecting with intelligent pupils, this is wrong and forever injures a child’s development.’
Corporal punishment was banned in Swazi schools by the Ministry of Education and Training in 2015, but caning continues. There are many reports from across Swaziland that pupils have been brutalised by their teachers.
Teachers have now been warned they must abide by the ban. Schools Inspector Gugu Dlamini, speaking at the Mphundle High School, said the ministry was worried by reports of pupils getting injured at school, a place where they are expected to be kept safe.
The Swazi Observer on Friday (29 September 2017) reported, ‘She emphasised that the ministry decided to ban corporal punishment as a way to prevent such incidents where a pupil would be injured.
‘Dlamini said it appeared that some teachers were frustrated by personal issues, and would vent their frustrations on the children, injuring them in the process. “Teachers must just stop this brutality at once and avoid incidents where the ministry will then be dragged to court after a pupil has been injured,” said Dlamini.’
The Ministry of Education and Training is conducting workshops for schools inspectors across the kingdom in what it calls ‘positive discipline’ as an alternative to corporal punishment.
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