CAPE TOWN - The mother of a Grade 4 pupil at Willows Primary School in Heideveld says her daughter has been left traumatised after she was allegedly assaulted with a pipe by a teacher.
The pupil has allegedly been repeatedly beaten by the teacher since last week, the mom said.
On the first occasion, she was allegedly beaten by the teacher with a pipe for making noise and being absent from school for almost a week.
On Wednesday she was allegedly beaten for tearing apart a piece of paper from her homework book.
The mother said the school principal called her on Thursday and suggested that the pupil be moved to another class.
“I don't know how taking her to another class will change the fact that she was abused and now she is traumatised.
“It means that the school still uses corporal punishment to punish learners.
“This is hurting me because this is not the first time my child has been complaining about this.
“At first, I thought she was just being naughty, but my mother also said that this is serious.
“Last week Tuesday or Monday she was beaten by the same teacher because she was making a noise and apparently she was not the only one making a noise, but the teacher chose to beat her and left the others.
“She did not attend school for days last week, and when she went to school on Wednesday, that is when she was beaten by the teacher on her back with a pipe.
“She told me that she is not going to school again. I tried to call the teacher just to get clarity but she was arrogant and did not want to co-operate with me. She instead insulted my daughter for being the tallest in the class,” the mom said.
The school principal was not available when the Cape Times reached out for comment on Thursday.
Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Millicent Merton said if there was substantive reliable evidence for a charge of misconduct, the teacher would be formally charged.
“Corporal punishment is regarded as serious misconduct. The WCED has a policy of zero tolerance with regards to corporal punishment…
“The matter was not reported to the department and the allegation will be investigated. Social workers will support the learner,” Merton said.
SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) provincial chairperson Jonavon Rustin called on schools to ensure that no corporal punishment was being meted out.
“Sadtu has been preaching non-violence within our institutions and that is why we have adopted a campaign called ’I am a school Fan’, where we encourage all teachers to respect learners or learners to respect teachers. The community embraces schools as their own in terms of ownership and the protection of the school.”
Meanwhile, the ANC’s provincial spokesperson on education, Khalid Sayed, called for an urgent investigation into the matter.
“The reports of corporal punishment at schools are shocking. No learner should be abused and bullied inside school premises, especially not by teachers. We will be following up on this and getting the department to intervene. We will also push for the learner to get psychosocial support,” said Sayed.