Saturday, June 23, 2018


Teachers reportedly caned every pupil in a school in Swaziland / Eswatini for poor performance.

The Times of Swaziland published the accusation on Friday (27 June 2018). It said each pupil at Mbuluzi High School was given three strokes.

It said, ‘When the school was visited, some pupils were heard screaming while others peeped through the windows in one of the classrooms where the activity took place. Some pupils were seen rubbing their buttocks while others wept bitterly as they left the classroom.’

It added, ‘Other learners were seen limping as they returned to their various classrooms. Speaking to their classmates in sign language, the pupils indicated that they were given three strokes each. These were the pupils who awaited the same punishment outside the classroom.’

The Times said pupils reported they were punished for poor performance. ‘They alleged that the whole school was punished by the teachers who were working collectively,’ it said.

Corporal punishment in schools in Swaziland was banned in 2015 but it is still used widely. 

As recently as September 2017 it was reported that an 11-year-old boy from Ekuphakameni Community Primary School in the outskirts of Hlatikhulu lost an eye when a cane his schoolteacher was using to illegally beat other pupils broke and splintered. 

In August 2017 it was reported that boys at Salesian High, a Catholic school, were forced to take down their trousers and underwear to be beaten on the naked buttocks.

In May 2017 pupils at Lubombo Central Primary School in Siteki were thrashed because they did not bring enough empty milk cartons to class. 

In March 2017 children at Masundvwini Primary School boycotted classes because they lived in fear of the illegal corporal punishment they are made to suffer. Local media reported that children were hit with a stick, which in at least one case was said to have left a child ‘bleeding from the head’. 

In August 2016 an eight-year-old schoolboy at Siyendle Primary School, near Gege, was thrashed so hard in class he vomited. His teacher reportedly forced classmates to hold the boy down while he whipped him with a stick. It happened after a group of schoolboys had been inflating condoms when they were discovered by the teacher.

In June 2016 the school principal at the Herefords High School was reported to police after allegedly giving a 20-year-old female student nine strokes of the cane on the buttocks. The Swazi Observer reported at the time, ‘She was given nine strokes on the buttocks by the principal while the deputy helped her by holding the pupil’s hands as she was made to lie down, said the source.’

In September 2015 the Times reported a 17-year-old school pupil died after allegedly being beaten at school. The pupil reportedly had a seizure.

In March 2015 a primary school teacher at the Florence Christian Academy was charged with causing grievous bodily harm after allegedly giving 200 strokes of the cane to a 12-year-old pupil on her buttocks and all over her body.

In February 2015 the headteacher of Mayiwane High School Anderson Mkhonta reportedly admitted giving 15 strokes to a form 1 pupil for not wearing a neck tie properly.

In April 2015, parents reportedly complained to the Ndlalane Primary School after a teacher beat pupils for not following his instruction and shaving their hair. 

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