SSKM student assaults teacher

Leungo Mokgwathi

BOSETU blames it on corporal punishment ban

It appears that the Botswana Sector of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU)’s decision for teachers to withdraw from applying corporal punishment on students has come back to bite them in the back as violence against teachers is now on the rise.

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On Monday, a Form Two student at Sir Seretse Khama Memorial (SSKM) Junior Secondary School in Gaborone was reportedly suspended after assaulting a male teacher.

This followed a similar incident which allegedly happened at Swaneng Hill Senior Secondary School a few weeks back.

A reliable source informed this publication that the student, who is known to this publication only as Zion, is currently serving a 20-day suspension for punching a teacher who was trying to break up a fight.

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“The school has limited resources, so Zion and another student had a squabble over a chair when the teacher intervened to stop the fight. It appears Zion felt that the teacher was favoring the other student, so he punched the teacher and threw his bag at him out of frustration,” said the source.

When reached for comment, SSKM School Head, Mmoloki Moreo, refused to comment on the alleged assault, arguing that he was not best placed to respond to the media.

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The incident was, however, confirmed by BOSETU Secretary General, Tobokani Rari, who explained that the issue came as no surprise to their union considering the ongoing case in which three teachers from the same school have been charged with unlawful administration of corporal punishment on September 26th, 2021.

“Remember, this is the same school where three teachers have been dragged before the courts for applying corporal punishment on students. Owing to this drastic action on teachers, the BOSETU conference took a decision that members should stop applying corporal punishment.

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According to Rari, the violent behavior of students against their teachers was birthed by the corporal punishment ban, resulting in unsafe school environments with teachers feeling very unsafe and unprotected.

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