Student dies after caning by teachers

A student receives a caning at a school in Tanzania. Photo: Youtube

A student receives a caning at a school in Tanzania. Photo: Youtube

Poor performance on a Kiswahili test may have cost a student their life earlier this week.

The form two student was given lashes as punishment for poor grades by three teachers at Matui Secondary School in Manyara Region on Monday.

The student, who has been identified as Noel Bichima, 15, died shortly after the assault.

To date, pleas by the Legal and Human Rights Centre to end corporal punishment in schools have been ignored, says executive director Helen Kijo-Bisimba.

“We have for years urged the government to abolish this form of punishment in schools because it’s against children’s rights, but we have been ignored,” says Kijo-Bisimba.

Other organizations feel the same way, but say the road block is when communities and teachers still believe corporal punishment is the right way to punish a child.

“It is likely that teachers are not well motivated,” says Tanzania Association of Managers and Owners of Non-governmental Schools and Colleges secretary general Benjamin Nkonya.

Nkonya says the incident is evidence of administrative failure, as there are other ways to discipline children.

Caning in schools is still a common practice in many former British colonies, and is also still a form of judicial punishment in Tanzania.

Bichima’s body has been delivered to medical examiners for an autopsy.

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