Principal suspended for whipping loitering learners

By Songeziwe Mapukata

The Department of Education in the Alfred Nzo Region has placed a school principal under precautionary suspension for 90 days. This comes after the principal at Huku Senior Secondary School in KwaBhaca,in the Eastern Cape, allegedly assaulted learners when schools re-opened for Term 2 last week, leaving one learner with serious injuries. 

The incident that contravened Section 10 of the SA Schools Act as well as Section 17 of the Employment of Educators Act that prohibits Corporal Punishment in schools shocked the Mandileni community and has since received a swift response from District Director, Monwabisi Mbangeni. 

“The allegation is that there was a quarrel about non-attendance of a structured morning class and late coming. It must be clear that the principal is precautionarily suspended only for the act of assaulting. Even in his absence, these structured activities are unacceptable to miss and must be adhered to”, he said. 

The investigation into the alleged incident is in its preliminary stages, Mbangeni told Scrolla Africa. 

He added that although the community is disturbed by the incident, the learning environment in the school is volatile but parents, teachers and learners all have a collective responsibility to ensure rules are adhered to, academic activity is ongoing and there is order. 

“Following rules is applicable to everyone which is children at school, and adults in the workplace. That is what is being groomed into those learners. Even people should not use social media as a tool to decimate learning and the schooling system by rushing to wanting to get people fired because government does follow up and take action against such things, and you may find that learners tend to realise they were at fault. We need to protect children from social media “

Last week, the mother of the 18-year-old victim Nozandile Langa spoke to Scrolla Africa. She said the incident happened after students were found loitering at a time when they should have been in class.

She said that a plastic pipe was used to punish the learners. Following the incident, the mother says the principal asked for permission to take her daughter to the doctor for a medical checkup to determine the extent of the injuries.

Although she said they had not opened a case, she says they want the department to make its own decision regarding the accused principal. 

“But, we are scared that if he loses his job or faces any action – she might be victimized at school by other learners and teachers”, said Langa.

The Department of Education is expected to conduct a formal investigation next week.

Pictured above: Injuries sustained by the learners

Image source: Supplied

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