The Free State Department of Education has noted with concern the alleged incident of corporal punishment administered last week by the principal of Ntsu Secondary School in Bethlehem, Thabo Mofutsanyane District.

The department condemned in the harshest possible terms the alleged use of corporal punishment against any learner.

Corporal punishment has been banned and may not be used as a method of enforcing discipline in schools.

Principals, educators, learners, parents and /or any support staff are required to report the use of corporal punishment following the prescripts contained in Protocol to Deal with Incidences of Corporal Punishment in Schools.

Harsh action will be taken against anyone who violates the prohibition on corporal punishment.

Images depicted on various social media platforms
indicate that Ntsu Secondary School principal used corporal punishment as a way to discipline a learner who reportedly failed to comply with the detention sanction conditions at school.

Corporal punishment is a violation of children’s rights, physical integrity, dignity, health, development, education.

The effects of corporal punishment are far-reaching and can cause mental and physical harm to children as well as short- and long-term aggression and antisocial behaviour in learners, even as they mature.

Crucially , corporal punishment is not a solution to disciplinary problems in a school or any other setting.

The Department has commenced with an investigation into the incident and will work with urgency to establish the facts.

The Department would continue to promote safety at schools and remind teachers of their responsibilities regarding the administration of discipline in schools.

School Governing Bodies are requested to mobilise all stakeholders to play a meaningful role in the abolition of corporal punishment in schools.

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