When pupils at a school in Swaziland / eSwatini failed to show up to receive a caning a teacher beat their mothers instead.
It happened at the small rural community of Mavalela, near Big Bend.
A community meeting was told that the school’s administration forced the women to take punishment on behalf of their children.
The Times of Swaziland reported one woman said a senior teacher threatened to expel her children from the school if she did not allow herself to be beaten.
She said, ‘The pupils had finished writing their exams and then decided not to report for school. The school’s administration saw this as a violation of the school rules and she ruled that the pupils would be punished when they return to collect their academic reports.’
The Times added for those pupils who had not come to school on that day, the teacher forced parents to take the punishment of their behalf. Several women were beaten on the hand.
The newspaper reported the women did not report the assault to the police because they did not think they would be taken seriously.
One woman told the Times she did not feel embarrassed by the incident at the time as there were other women who were also beaten.
Corporal punishment in schools was banned in 2015 but it continues to be routinely used across the kingdom.
The Mavalela case is not the only one reported in Swaziland of adults being beaten by schoolteachers.
In 2011 it was reported the school principal at Elangeni High School regularly gave out public floggings to adults who dated girls from his school.
The men were forced to attend in front of the entire school, lie down on a bench and receive a whipping. The girls were also flogged. The principal told the Weekend Observer newspaper at the time that if in the usual course of events his pupils were subjected to corporal punishment, why shouldn’t the adults? He said he had flogged many men over a period of time.
The ages of the pupils involved were not disclosed, but in Swaziland it is common for people to still be attending school in their late teens and twenties.
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