Recent studies show that schools are increasingly becoming hostile places for learners, with bullying, corporal punishment and sexual abuse getting rampant. No example illustrates this sorry state more than the incident in which a teacher seriously beat up a Standard Three pupil for allegedly being unable to read, resulting in her death a few days later.
It is a harrowing tale about a 10-year-old child, who was subjected to what amounts to mob lynching as the heartless teacher even asked her fellow pupils to help punish the hapless girl. An orphan, who lived with her 86-year-old grandmother, she succumbed to her injuries in hospital last Sunday, three days after the horrifying attack. Corporal punishment is outlawed in schools, and using children to punish others is a gangland practice never heard of in school.
The little girl could have been a slow learner – and we have many in our schools – or could have been suffering from a condition such as dyslexia or even simply nervous at being asked to read in front of the class. Whatever the case, there can be no reason whatsoever to justify the violence meted out on the pupil. Police must move with speed to investigate the matter, arrest the teacher and take him to court.