SEBOKENG. – Although corporal punishment was outlawed in South African schools, some teachers still choose to practice it in their classes, directly breaking the law.
The Spokesperson for the Gauteng Deparment of Education, Steve Mabona, has confirmed that a Katleho-Impumelelo Secondary School teacher in Zone 11 is currently undergoing a disciplinary hearing after allegedly hitting one of her Grade 10 students in August 2017.
According to the learner *Papi Mobudi (16), the teacher had told the entire class to keep quiet and write their notes on the day. “I turned around to ask for a ruler from one of my classmates, the teacher saw me and she was not happy about that.
“She told me to lie on the table and hit me three times on the back of my neck with her hand. She wanted to do the same to the other students I had borrowed the ruler from but they refused so she just hit them on the back.”
Papi says the teacher further gave him a letter to bring his mother to school the following day. “Later that day, my neck started getting swollen and I went straight to bed when I got home.”
The mother, *Dimpho Mobudi (39) says she got home from work and found her son sleeping.“I thought he was in a fight at school but then he explained what had happened. I took him to the clinic the next day but then they only gave him pain killers.”
Dimpho says she then took the young man to school to report the matter. “I met with the deputy principal and the teacher, she admitted to hitting him and gave us money for the doctor.” The mother says the teacher did not seem to care about the implications of what she had done as she asked her not to take the matter any further.
“The fact that the department is undertaking to discipline the teacher is good, but who must take care of Papi’s medical expenses? Ever since the incident happened, my son has never been the same as he is always complaining about pains in his neck. It gets stiff and he gets spasms in the neck. He even stopped playing soccer as a result of the injury. He sleeps in class because his neck gets painful.” Dimpho says that she wants someone to help her son before the matter gets worse as she is not in a financial position to get proper treatment for him. “I am afraid that this will turn into a permanent disability if my son does not get help soon.
The teacher must take him to a specialist to ensure that his neck gets treated and that he does not get worse.” Papi spent this past weekend in bed because his neck was once again giving him problems.
* Not their real names.