BIKITA - Jaravaza Primary School head, Sithole allegedly beat and seriously injured a nine-year-old girl whom he accused of stepping on a flower bed.
The school head reportedly used a thick bamboo stick to mete out the savage corporal punishment on Miriam Chinhovo, leaving the girl nursing a broken arm after being admitted at Silveira Mission Hospital.
Bikita District School Inspector (DSI) James Mahofa said he heard about the incident but was yet to get a formal report from Sithole.
“I am yet to get a full report and investigate the issue. The case is somehow complex because I had to call the school head after getting informal reports. I am still waiting for the head to submit his report and I will then visit the school to make my own investigations,” said Mahofa.
Provincial Education Director (PED) Zedius Chiriga condemned the incident saying it was not permissible to beat school children.
“We heard about the issue and we are worried by the conduct of the school head. It must be noted that corporal punishment is illegal. We are making investigations and appropriate measures will be taken,” said Chitiga.
The pupil’s guardian Darikai Mashoko, who is also the child’ guardian, confirmed the incident saying his granddaughter was in serious pain.
“She told us that they were cleaning the toilets but when the bell rang, they rushed to the classes and made a shortcut through the flower beds. The headmaster then flogged and injured her badly,” said Mashoko.
He said Sithole initially agreed to settle the medical expenses for the treatment of the child but he later refused to pay.
“We had agreed that it was an accident and the head would pay for the medical expenses but when the child got admitted at Silveira, he changed his mind and refused to pay. We reported the matter to the police who said we must go and settle the matter out of court.
“They asked us to dialogue and the headmaster again agreed to pay but nothing has been paid to date. I used my own money to have her treated. Miriam is now fearful of school and has refused to go back,” said Mashoko.
In early 2017, High Court Judge Justice David Mangota declared corporal punishment illegal in school and at home, saying it violated the rights of children. It seems, however, that many teacher, parents and guardians are still wantonly violating the law.