Teachers Flog Learners At Ondundu

Corporal punishment is rife at Ondundu Primary School in the Tsumeb district of Oshikoto Region, with teachers reportedly flogging learners for coming late.

“When we come late Mr Ithana makes us do push-ups, but sometimes he says ‘come take your sweets because it’s morning’ and then beats us with a stick,” complained one of the learners who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ithana allegedly tells his learners it was not government that outlawed corporal punishment.

Victims of the alleged punishment have been left with the psychological trauma of the beatings and having to do push-ups, as well as feel humiliated.

Some of the learners had their hair shaved as another form of punishment by teachers at the school.

Learners say they are also compelled to hold chairs above their heads. Grades 5 to 7 English, maths and agriculture teacher, Sakaria Ithana, confessed he was the head of the ‘punishing committee’ at the primary school and was responsible for meting out such punishment.

When asked if he was aware that corporal punishment was unconstitutional, he said he was aware corporal punishment was outlawed but that the learners were punished after he caught them gambling.

Ondundu Primary School head mistress Juliane Nakale denied knowledge of the corporal punishment at her school, saying it was hard to keep track of all the goings-on at the school with over 500 learners. “I am surprised, this comes as news to me. I am unaware that corporal punishment is taking place. I have an open-door policy at my school and have not received any complaints from parents,” she said. “The push-ups are a form of discipline and sometimes we make learners hold up chairs. I think it is fair, these children have to be disciplined. I have not received any complaints from parents. The shaving of hair and beating was introduced during a parent-teacher meeting by parents,” Nakale said.

A learner on the SRC told New Era learners are sometimes beaten for bad behaviour.

Swapo District Councillor of Oshikoto, Lebbius Tobias, Tsumeb Mayor, Ndangi Linekela Sheetekela and SPYL Regional Secretary, Mathew Hangula, all condemned the practice of corporal punishment, calling it inhumane. “Their timing is really bad, it is extremely cold yet they choose to cut my child’s hair during this time of the year, I can only describe this as cruel,” said Fredericka Gaeses a parent.

Source : New Era