A grade five pupil at Mzilikazi Primary School in Bulawayo last month suffered serious injuries after he was allegedly brutally assaulted by his teacher for failing to follow her instructions.
The teacher, only identified as Ms T. Ngwenya, allegedly dragged the learner, to the front of the class, pushed him to the floor and assaulted him all over his body resulting in him sustaining injuries on his left arm and left knee.
A CITE news crew visited the learner`s home on Saturday and his father narrated the ordeal.
“On February 4, I woke my son up as usual and prepared him for school. He came back late afternoon, had his lunch and worked on his homework. Later on, around 7 PM he came up to me and said ‘Daddy there is something that happened at school that I want to tell you about’,” the 10-year-old victim`s father narrated.
“When he narrated to me how much the teacher had beat him I thought he was exaggerating. It was only the following morning when I told him to go bath that he showed me the markings on his arms.”
The learner`s father said due to the extent of the injuries they had to seek medical attention which proved costly for them.
According to a medical report seen by CITE, the teacher used moderate force to assault the learner thereby causing serious injuries.
The report further stated that the injuries do not “pose a potential danger to life nor do they threaten to cause permanent disability.”
He said he took him and went with him to the school to see the school headmaster Mr Booker Dladla.
“When we got to the headmaster, he begged us not to report to the police and asked us to ‘talk about it’. I took him to Mpilo hospital but the doctor declined to attend to him saying I had to have a police report first,” explained the father.
“I went to the police station to file a report and then came back to the hospital and they put a sling around his arm. As we continuously sought medication for him and did several tests, we would approach the headmaster for financial assistance. He would assist when he could.”
He added that about two weeks later he felt the school was not doing much in addressing his son’s issue so he took the matter up with the District Schools Inspector (DSI).
“The DSI promised to follow up on the matter, I then went to the school to tell the headmaster that I had talked to the DSI but I found him out of office so I left him a message. Later that day he came to our home and further apologised for the incident.
“The following day my son`s teacher, whom we hadn’t interacted with since the incident, came to our house and apologised for her conduct. But still, she could not tell us why she beat my son that much.”
Jabulani Mhlanga, a lawyer with Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), described the conduct by the teacher as a criminal offence.
Mhlanga said corporal punishment was long outlawed by the High Court and the teacher`s conduct could land her in jail.
Contacted for a comment Bulawayo Provincial Education Director Olicah Kaira said she not aware of the incident as the report had not reached her office.