Save the Children Swaziland condemned teachers for beating all the children at a school after one pupil made a noise in assembly.
It said the school violated their human rights.
The mass caning happened at Lusoti Primary School. Parents have now asked the Ministry of Education and Training to investigate.
The Times of Swaziland newspaper reports that all pupils from the first to senior grades were beaten while at assembly, even though the child who made the noise was identified.
The school’s principal, Khanyisile Shongwe, confirmed to the newspaper the incident happened.
The pupils were also reportedly made to stand under the scorching sun for an hour and ordered to sing and some pupils collapsed as a result of this.
Dumisani Mnisi, director of Save the Children Swaziland, said the way the corporal punishment was administered was unacceptable. He said it violated the human rights of the children.
There is a long history in Swaziland of the use by teachers of unusual forms of punishment in Swazi schools.
In October 2011, Save the Children told the United Nations Human Rights Periodic Review held in Geneva that corporal punishment in Swazi schools was out of control. It highlighted Mhlatane High School in northern Swaziland where it said pupils were ‘tortured’ in the name of punishment. It said, ‘Teachers can administer as many strokes [of the cane] as they desire, much against the limit stipulated in the regulations from the Ministry of Education.’
In a separate case, girls at Mpofu High School are flogged by teachers on their bare flesh and if they resist they are chained down so the beating can continue. They say they get up to 40 strokes at a time.
In another case, a 10-year-old girl at kaLanga Nazarene Primary school was blinded for life in her left eye after a splinter from a teacher’s stick flew and struck it during punishment. And she was not the child being punished. She was injured when her teacher was hitting another pupil, with a stick which broke.
Another pupil in Swaziland was thrashed so hard that he later collapsed unconscious and had to be rushed to a clinic. Six pupils at Mafucula High school were thrashed with 20 strokes of a ‘small log’ because they were singing in class. It was reported that the boy who became unconscious was not one of those misbehaving, but he was flogged nonetheless.
The principal at Elangeni High, even publicly flogs adults who date pupils at his school. The men are forced to attend in front of the entire school, lie down on a bench and receive a whipping. The girls are also flogged.
SWAZI SCHOOL ‘TORTURES’ STUDENTS
CHILDREN CHAINED AND FLOGGED BARE
PROBE VICIOUS SCHOOL BEATINGS
SCHOOL FLOGGINGS OUT OF CONTROL
SCHOOL HEAD PUBLICLY FLOGS ADULTS