Pupils engage in wild-cat strike

PUPILS at Mpofu High School claim they are beaten up to 40 strokes as a form of corporal punishment for different cases.
As a result, they yesterday boycotted classes in protest against corporal punishment meted by the teachers.
The over 300 pupils abandoned classes after just15 minutes into the first period. They claimed that when they are beaten, they are made to strip naked on the lower body so that the teachers can beat them on bare flesh.
Amongst their grievances was the corporal punishment, the case of a teacher who allegedly impregnated a pupil but was still at school and other issues.
“The teachers make us lie on a bench whereby if you are a girl you lift your skirt so that they can beat you on bare flesh, if you resist you are chained to the bench,” claimed one pupil.
The pupils said they had had enough of being abused in the name of corporal punishment and other issues affecting them in the school.
They further claimed that when one has misbehaved at home, if reported to school by the parent then you are in trouble as you are punished.
During a visit to the school, five police officers were found seated next to one of the classrooms while the school gate was locked as pupils walked aimlessly inside and outside the school premises.
The deputy principal Enock Dlamini was found locked in a meeting with officials from the ministry of education and training.
Teachers were found in the staffroom whiling time away while classrooms remained empty. After a short while, the pupils where called to a brief meeting by their head prefects to update them.
The deputy principal did not deny that they administered corporal punishment but refuted that the pupils were being given 40 strokes.
“We only administer the lawful six strokes but the only difference is that we use a pipe which we believe is safer,” he added.


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