The Inkatha Freedom Party in KwaZulu-Natal calls for a robust debate on effective but legal forms of learner discipline at schools after parents at Prince Tokotoko High School in Nongoma are said to be against the suspension of a teacher who has been seen in a video beating school girls.
"The steps taken by the parents by rejecting the KZN Education MEC's action of suspending the named teacher puts us in a situation where we need to have a robust debate on what forms of discipline should be used at schools. We need to have this debate because corporal punishment is not allowed in schools but teachers are resorting to it because the Department of Education failed to provide proper disciplinary alternatives to teachers without them having to resort to corporal punishment," said IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Education, Mrs Thembeni Madlopha Mthethwa MPL.
"Therefore the debate about corporal punishment must be prioritised and elevated from beyond whether or not to use corporal punishment to how to discipline children. Discussion is needed about how children can be effectively disciplined and taught moral values that make up the fabric of this country. What can parents do to improve the behaviour of their children so that teachers in school have learners who already have a high level of self-discipline? The abolition of corporal punishment in schools was not an abolition of discipline, but rather a move towards a better way of disciplining children in schools," continued Mrs Madlopha-Mthethwa.
"Perhaps it is time to intensify the commitment to assisting teachers to become familiar with those techniques. Children need discipline. But there should be alternatives for effective discipline, and our focus should be on developing those alternatives," continued Mrs Madlopha-Mthethwa.
IFP KZN Education Spokesperson,
Mrs Thembeni KaMadlopha-Mthethwa, MPL, 071 884 3844 or 079 114 3015
Mr Phendulani Biyase,
IFP KZN Legislature Media Liaison Officer, 073 024 5675