WINDHOEK – The Namibia National Teachers Union (Nantu) has condemned the assault of a schoolteacher by learners at a school in the Oshikoto Region.
A male learner at Omuthiya Junior Primary School assaulted a female teacher after she confiscated his MP3 player last week.
“The union condemns these barbaric actions against our teachers. Teachers are there to offer quality education and with these spineless actions it will put them in fearful situations,” said the Nantu Oshikoto regional chairperson Tomas Niilonga.
Electronic devices such as iPads, MP3s, cellphones and other gadgets are prohibited on school premises, because they interfere with both teaching and learning.
The teacher was trying to get learners to return to their classroom, after they had finished writing their mid-year examinations.
Sources said in the process the teacher saw two boys listening to music on the MP3 player and asked them to surrender the music gadget to her.
The boys refused and she decided to grab it from them. But a group of learners standing close by became riotous, screaming to the teacher to return the gadget to its owner.
The 19-year old learner appeared in court on Monday after the school opened a case of assault against him. He is out on bail of N$500.
The school principal Gerhart Ndafenongo recently told New Era that they called in the police following the incident, who said they could only go to the school if a criminal case is lodged.
“The learner was arrested because the school opened a case against him, if we did not open a case then the teacher would not have felt protected,” said Ndafenongo. The principal also said that the school board met with the students and impressed the importance of discipline and respect for teachers on them.
“Lack of respect and their unacceptable behaviour should be rejected in the strongest terms possible,” said the Nantu Oshikoto regional chairperson Niilonga.
Nantu says discipline among learners at schools has become a serious problem, leaving teachers in an awkward situation in their efforts to deliver quality education.
“It is why we are calling on government to revisit policies that instil and maintain discipline among learners with maximum protection for our teachers,” said the union.
The union also called on the education directorate of the Oshikoto Region to see to it that justice prevails for those who are guilty. The union also wants the incident to be a lesson to learners who may be tempted to display similar behaviour, that such actions will not be tolerated or go unpunished.