Archaic discipline is criminal

When corporal punishment was abolished in South African schools 10 years ago, there was widespread relief because of the potential for abuse in using this kind of discipline for pupils.

When corporal punishment was abolished in South African schools 10 years ago, there was widespread relief because of the potential for abuse in using this kind of discipline for pupils.

For good measure the Education Department provided alternative, non-violent guidelines for disciplining pupils.

The ban was duly endorsed by parents and teachers after recommendations that this form of punishment was anachronistic.

So it is rather disturbing that certain teachers are still enforcing corporal punishment at various schools in Mpumalanga in defiance of the law.

Last week four teachers were filmed on a cellphone at Mpumalanga's Kusasalethu Secondary School taking turns whipping pupils.

Consequently pupils from various schools boycotted classes in Embalenhle township, near Secunda, in protest against corporal punishment.

The department must surely take action against teachers who are defying the ban.

In terms of the law, the enforcement of this outlawed form of punishment is criminal. Charges of assault can be laid against these tutors. They can be convicted and sentenced to a jail term.

Education authorities have actually warned that culprits guilty of this misdemeanour could be dismissed. Let them be taught a lesson.

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