The mother said her daughter, who is in Grade R, was repeatedly assaulted by a teacher apparently over unpaid school fees. She has since removed the child from the school. Picture: Pixabay
The mother said her daughter, who is in Grade R, was repeatedly assaulted by a teacher apparently over unpaid school fees. She has since removed the child from the school. Picture: Pixabay

Mom claims teacher assaulted Grade R daughter over school fees

By Nadia Khan Time of article published Mar 11, 2020

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Durban - The Human Rights Commission is investigating a complaint by a Chatsworth mother that her child was repeatedly abused by a teacher because they are poor.

The mother said her daughter, who is in Grade R, was repeatedly assaulted by a teacher apparently over unpaid school fees. She has since removed the child from the school.

The unemployed mother of three said she and her husband, who worked part-time as an administration clerk, was unable to pay the R2 600 school fees at the start of the year.

“I told the principal I could pay R1300 and the balance at the end of January. The principal finally agreed.”

But a week after school re-opened, her child returned home in tears.

Her daughter claimed the teacher pinched her cheek because she did not have the R200 entrance fee for a dance to be held later this year.

Two days later, the child told her mother the teacher had pinched her thigh and knuckles, demanding the

balance of the school fees and the entrance fee for the dance.

The mother met with the principal the following day but claims he seemed uninterested.

She said later that day when she fetched her daughter from school, she saw marks on her face, and the girl alleged the teacher had slapped her.

After reporting the matter again to the school and explaining she did not have the balance of the school fees, she was told the teacher denied the allegation, but the school would look into the matter.

“My daughter refused to go to school until I convinced her it would not happen again.”

But last month, the mother said her daughter returned home with a red mark near her armpit.

“She said the teacher asked for the money again and hit her on either side of the forehead with her knuckles and pinched her again.”

The mother reported the incident to the police and enrolled the child at another school.

Her husband said he emailed a complaint to the Department of Education and the Human Rights Commission.

Muzi Mahlambi, the spokesperson for the Department of Education in KZN, said corporal punishment was outlawed.

“Educators are trained on alternate ways to instil discipline and punishment, which includes detention or more school work.

“We will investigate and take action if it is found to be true.”

He added that no child should be denied an education or be mistreated if they could not afford school fees.

Captain Nqobile Gwala, KZN police spokesperson, said a case of assault was opened.

Pavershree Padayachee, the senior legal officer at the South African Human Rights Commission in KZN, said they had received the complaint.

“The commission condemns all forms of corporal punishment, and accordingly, considers the allegations to be of a very serious nature.

“The commission is investigating the said allegations and will be engaging with the school and the KZN Department of Education,” she said.

The school could not be reached for comment.

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