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www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  2004   :  FJ Schools Aug 2004

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FIJI

School CP - August 2004



Corpun file 13872

Fiji times, 18 August 2004

Teacher beats 30 students

THIRTY students have filed a complaint with police against a teacher who they claimed beat them several times with a stick because they were making noise in the classroom.

Police confirmed yesterday that the case was under investigation as it was against the law for any teacher — other than a headteacher or principal — to inflict corporal punishment on any student.

The complainants are Form Five students of Bucalevu Secondary School, a government institution on Taveuni Island.

Police spokesman Mesake Koroi said the 30 students submitted medical reports and individual statements to police.

He said the investigation was underway and the police was yet to substantiate the cause of the beating.

One parent said his daughter returned home complaining of injuries she suffered in the beating. She was taken to the hospital for an examination.

"My daughter told me that on Monday after lunch, a teacher walked in when they were making noise and reported the matter to another teacher who then gave them the beating," said angry parent Ravindra Kumar.

"I'm a board member of the school and I thought the school had agreed two months ago that corporal punishment will no longer be inflicted on students except by the principal if it's really necessary.

"I had a meeting with the principal today (yesterday) and he said that he would have to wait for the teacher to return from Suva before he could investigate.

"The teacher left today (yesterday) to take some students across for some games."

Principal Waisake Vuliravatu was not available for comment when contacted at his home last night. When this newspaper contacted him earlier in the day, he said he was in a meeting.

Two other parents were also not happy with the beating and said the teacher should have found other ways to discipline the students. One parent said it was not the first time students had been beaten by their teachers at the school.

It is understood that all 35 students of that Form Five were beaten by a teacher. Five did not file complaints with the police.

Also some students did not attend school yesterday. The reasons for their absence were not known yesterday.

A staff member at Taveuni Hospital confirmed that some students had been to the hospital to get a medical report on injuries. The injuries were mostly body bruises.

Education Minister Ro Teimumu Kepa, was not available for comment yesterday.

Her Chief Executive Officer Alumita Taganesia said she was not aware of the case as she was attending a meeting at Nadi.

But she confirmed yesterday that teachers were not allowed to inflict corporal punishment on any student.

Copyright 2004, Fiji Times Limited. All Rights Reserved.



Corpun file 13910

Fiji Times, 19 August 2004

Teachers address rights

A TEACHER union is urging members to respect students' rights.

The Fiji Teachers Union has warned its members that students in this day and age knew their rights and if violated they knew where to go and what to do.

The union was responding to an incident on Taveuni where 30 students filed a complaint with police against a teacher who they claimed beat them several times with a stick because they were making noise in a classroom.

FTU secretary Agni Deo Singh said corporal punishment only created fear among students rather than have a positive effect on them to become better persons.

"It's illegal for a teacher, headteacher or principal to inflict corporal punishment on a student because it is against the law.

"Corporal punishment is not only illegal but demoralising, inhumane and will have an adverse effect on students."

Mr Singh said the Ministry of Education provided schools alternative measures to punish a student, with suspension and expulsion the last resort.

He said teachers should work with parents and counsellors before punishing a student and students were urged to co-operate with teachers who are often pressured by work.

Mr Singh said teachers needed to supervise students who, if left unattended, would get into trouble.

Education chief executive Alumita Taganesia said she was not aware of the case but said teachers were not allowed to inflict corporal punishment on any student.

However, she denied there was a shortage of teachers in schools.

Minister for Education Ro Teimumu Kepa was not available for comments yesterday.

Copyright 2004, Fiji Times Limited. All Rights Reserved.




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