Probe into kindergarten beating

13 August 2019 | Education

Parents whose children were allegedly assaulted by a teacher at Rehoboth Primary School have opened a case of assault with the police.

A video clip that went viral last week showed how a teacher, identified as Rika Denk, slapped and shouted at young children in her class.

The crime investigations coordinator for the Hardap Region, Deputy Commissioner Eric Clay, says the police are investigating the matter.

The education ministry is also investigating the incident.

Rehoboth Primary School management has refused to comment and is not taking calls from the media. Denk has also refused to comment.

In the video the teacher is seen shouting impatiently, “Hou jou mond! (Shut your mouth!)” “You won't ask. This child is already finished with her row and you are dying here. You must count to six. Six, girlfriend, count to six,” she shouts before heading over to slap another child in the face.

“You are crying for nothing. I am beating you because you cannot count to six,” she says as she continues walking through the class.

The executive director in the ministry of education, arts and culture, Sanet Steenkamp, said the ministry would immediately take disciplinary steps.

She said the ministry strongly condemned any form of abuse, corporal punishment, bullying or violence in schools.

“The ministry has with great shock viewed a video circulating on various social media platforms in which a teacher is seen assaulting and manhandling a learner in her classroom. We further take note of the intolerance and frustration displayed by the said teacher,” said Steenkamp. She emphasised that the teacher's behaviour constituted misconduct and would be dealt with accordingly. Parents expressed outrage on social media, with one saying she had removed her child from the school.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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