Girl out of school for months after swing accident

15 June 2018 | Accidents

A six-year-old learner at the Cabatana private school in Oshakati, who sustained a ruptured liver after being trapped under a swing on the school's playground, will only return to school in two months' time.

The accident happened on 1 June while Aily Ndjembela was playing on the swing just after being dropped off at school by her parents.

She was immediately rushed to the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital where she was examined and it was found that her liver was damaged.

Aily's father, Jacob Ndjembela, wrote in a letter to Oshana education director Hileni Amukana that his daughter would not be able to attend school for the next two months.

Ndjembela had harsh words for the school director, Erlinda Cabatana, whom he accused of being inconsiderate and not being remorseful over what happened.

“To my disappointment, she never visited my daughter or called us to know the condition of my daughter,” the letter reads.

“She must not forget that the health of my daughter is permanently damaged and she has to spend two months at home without schooling,” the letter further reads.

Ndjembela also said the school's playground equipment posed a danger to children.

He asked who had approved the playground equipment and the use of a cement surface instead of the soft sand used at other kindergartens.

Amukana confirmed receipt of Ndjembela's letter.

When approached for comment, Cabatana said she had provided a copy of the incident report to Amukana on the very same day, explaining what had happened and how the matter was being treated.

She said the reason why she could not visit the child in hospital was because she was busy with administration duties after one of her staff had resigned at short notice.

“On the issue of me not being remorseful, the father is not telling the truth. I am the one who took the child to the hospital but I had to leave on that day. However I kept on instructing the teacher to visit the learner and I was always updated on her situation,” Cabatana said.

Cabatana said the reason why she had not called Ndjembela directly was because she wanted to avoid an altercation, as their conversations since the day of the incident were never fruitful.

Regarding the material used for the school's playground, Cabatana said there were no official policy guidelines.

Amukana said the ministry was drafting a policy in this regard but in the meantime schools should ensure that their learners were safe at all times.


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