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Post-mortem report saves teacher from jail

BONIFACE KEAKABETSE
MAUN: A post mortem report has saved a Gowa Junior Secondary School (Kauxwi) Agriculture teacher from a hefty fine and possible imprisonment.

The teacher was accused of causing the death of his Form One student after administering corporal punishment on students.

On January 15, the teacher allegedly punished some students for not doing their assignment. A week later, one of the students, a 13-year-old boy from Sekondomboro, died after complaining of severe pains on  the neck and head. Some people including the boy’s parents blamed the teacher for his death.  On January 23, following the death, the parents filed a case with the Shakawe police station and an inquest was opened.

Shakawe police station commander Superintendent Goitsemodimo Molapisi told Mmegi that the post-mortem has revealed that the death was caused by ‘Bacteria Meningitis’ not the beatings.

“The boy died from natural causes not the beatings,” he said.

The office stated that the boy’s parents were present when the post-mortem results were announced in Francistown where it was conducted. 

“Our investigations have revealed that the boy was just normal after the punishment by the teacher. He even played 90 minutes for his school in a football match on January17,” said Molapisi.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education (MoE) North West education regional director Acro Maseko confirmed there are rising cases where students are seriously injured during the administration of corporal punishment.

He said there were six of such cases, which were reported to his office last year.

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Maseko said that in the past some teachers were taken to court for causing grievous injuries to their students.

The authorities were particularly worried by the fact that some cases do not come in the open as headmasters protect the perpetrators, said Maseko.

He also said a lot of parents were also not aware of the fact that teachers are not supposed to injure students when administering corporal punishment.

Maseko said he has written to all the headmasters in the Ngamiland schools to sensitise teachers to administer punishment in line with the Education Act.

“The law says no punishment shall be administered except for offences of serious nature such as students’ fights,” said Maseko.

“The law provides for a fine or imprisonment for contravention of the law governing corporal punishment. We are going to follow the law to the latter and all teachers who injure students will be reported to the police,” he warned further.

The decision has however rubbed some teachers the wrong way as they complain that it may prevent them from controlling rising students indiscipline in schools.

The teachers recently raised their concerns during a consultative meeting between Maun West MP, Tawana Moremi and Botswana Teachers Union at Centre Lodge.

Maseko however remained unfazed by the concerns saying the law is clear that students should be “disciplined not assaulted”.



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