Corporal punishment victim still not at school - three years on
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Durban - THIS year will be the third year since a Folweni grade 10 pupil dropped out of school after his teacher allegedly hit him on his knuckles with a chalkboard duster.
The man, who does not want to be named for fear of victimisation, said he had been unable to use his right hand since. He was 18 at the time.
His mother, who also declined to be named, claimed her son was hit three times with the corner of the duster. He could no longer open his hand and his fingernails were hurting his palm. She said she was now burdened with financial implications. Her son had to seek regular medical assistance to treat infections in the hand and stop the pain at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in uMlazi.
“I am unemployed. When he gets discharged from hospital, sometimes at night, I have to pay someone for transport. This has been emotional for the both of us. He wants to complete his schooling and make use of his hand,” said the mother of four.
“He spent about two or three days in hospital. He went for a procedure to move his fingers away from his palm so we could cut his nails. He tried going to school, but children were calling him names. He was also absent from school because he was seeking medical assistance. ”
Department of Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the teacher in question had been dismissed from the school following the incident. Mahlambi did, however, say that the pupil had arrived at school on that day, with his hand swollen after having fallen the previous day while playing soccer.
The man denied these allegations.
“I have never played any sports in grade 10 at the school. I broke both my hands in 2017. I fully recovered from that. Right now my nerves are the problem.”
Mahlambi said in instances where the department was hauled to court over such actions it would go ahead with court proceedings. He said the department would seek to claim legal costs from the responsible teacher.
“The SGB-paid teacher was dismissed immediately. This should be a lesson to all educators that they must stop this (corporal punishment), as it has serious implications,” said Mahlambi.