NATION

Teachers Warned Against Using Corporal Punishment

Teachers have been warned that they could lose their jobs if they use corporal punishment. The Divisional Education Officer Northern Selemo Drokamaisau issued the warning after a Waiqele College Teacher
22 Jun 2018 11:27
Teachers Warned Against Using Corporal Punishment
Ilisabeta Meredani and Luke Balenaivalu at their home at Dogoru Village on June 18, 2018. Photo: Nacanieli Tuilevuka

Teachers have been warned that they could lose their jobs if they use corporal punishment.

The Divisional Education Officer Northern Selemo Drokamaisau issued the warning after a Waiqele College Teacher Ramesh Chand was suspended.

He was handed his letter of suspension on Tuesday after allegedly hitting a Year Nine student, Luke Balenaivalu, over a text book issue.

Mr Chand is on full pay and stays at his quarters in the school compound, in Waiqele, outside of Labasa Town.

He said: “I cannot comment on the issue as investigation is currently underway.

“Yes, I have been given a letter and I have been told not to speak or to tell anyone on what transpired that day as initial investigation is underway,” he said.

Mr Drokamaisau confirmed that the files were now with the Permanent Secretary of Education Alison Burchell.

This followed Police and Ministry of Education investigations.

It is understood that the incident happened when the Year Nine student had found a Target textbook in a rubbish bin. Without questioning the student, the teacher got hold of the textbook and allegedly hit Luke with it.

The student’s parents lodged a complaint to the Ministry of Education because corporal punishment has been outlawed. The ministry reported the matter to the Police.

Mr Drokamovisau said corporal punishment could not be seen as a solution for behavioural problems in schools.

He said: “Educational experts argue that the long-term costs of corporal punishment outweigh any short-term benefit that might be gained by its application.

“Although the application of corporal punishment may take less than a minute, its effects may last for years, and the family, the local community, and society at large pay the price for teachers’ actions. Beatings and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatments affect both the physical well being and the psyche of those who are punished.

“It makes a lasting impression on the minds of all children who witness corporal punishment in the classroom, and may be a detriment to their relationships with teachers, parents, and other authority figures. This is a message that boys and girls internalise and carry with them throughout their lives.

“Teachers have tended to use corporal punishment, citing reasons such as ‘it’s the only language they understand’,” he said.

The Ministry of Education has previously stated that there was a no-drop policy on corporal punishment.

Ms Burchell and Police Spokesperson Ana Naisoro had not responded to their email when this edition went to press.

Parents Demand Answers

Meanwhile, the parents of the Year Nine student have spoken out against the teacher.

Mother Ilisabeta Meredani said: “We do not support corporal punishment and back the ministry’s decision to suspend teachers who do this such acts.

“Spare the rod and spoil the child- we instil discipline in our child, but we have not raised our hands on to his face.

“I want the teacher to pay of what he has done to our son.

“My son was shivering and scared when I asked him what had happened, if this is the school system of today, what is the use of sending our children to school,” she said.

‘I am not good in English speaking and writing. The school head wrote the letter on my behalf to the Ministry of Education,” she said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedbacks: nacanieli.tuilevuka@fijisun.com.fj



Five Squares 4th Birthday


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Tower Insurance
FNPF App
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper