Learners suspended for ‘bullying’ teachers

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Helvy Shaanika

Ongwediva-A school in Ohangwena Region has suspended three learners for allegedly bullying teachers, theft and bringing alcohol to school.

The suspended pupils also face allegations of having sexually assaulted other learners.
Initially six Grade 8 and 9 male learners at Shikudule Combined School were suspended but three were reinstated after they had agreed to bring their parents to school and pledged in writing they would adhere to the school’s rules and regulations.

However, Israel Hamutumbangela, the chairperson of Ohangwena Boxing Federation, claims the learners were suspended because they were involved in boxing.

He claims the school is anti-boxing, hence the “victimization” of learners who ventured into boxing.

Hamutumbangela claims the school suspended the learners “for no apparent reason” and it had not attempted to contact their parents to inform them about their children’s alleged mis-behaviour.

Father Tarah Shalyefu, who is the principal of Shikudule Combined School, however dismissed Hamutumbangela’s allegations, maintaining the suspension had nothing to do with boxing.

Shalyefu confirmed that three learners from Grade 8 and 9 had not returned to school following their suspension.

According to him, six learners were given letters to give to their parents and they were also told to bring their parents to school following several misconduct charges.

However, at the beginning of school last month only three learners brought their parents to see the principal.

Shalyefu, who shared insight into each individual case, said each one of the learners stole two cellphones from the school premises, and they locked up a female classmate in a classroom and fondled her breasts, and also fondled another schoolgirl on her way home.

Another pupil allegedly took traditional marula alcoholic beverage (omaongo) to school and he refused to wear a school uniform.

He also stands accused of having stolen other items.
“This same learner refuses to stand up in class when asked to do so by teachers, claiming that he is unable to stand up because he has an erection. These children have so many cases, it is just too much. They even insult me,” said Shalyefu.

The third pupil allegedly threatened and insulted his teacher via a cellphone text message, after the teacher asked him to explain why he was absent from school for two days. Instead of explaining his absence the pupil allegedly decided to stay out of school for two more weeks and then threatened the teacher.

A 19-year-old Grade 9 learner spoken to confirmed that he refused to take his guardian to school.

“I can’t take my grandmother to school unless they tell me why they want to see her. I told them whatever they want to discuss with my grandmother they can just talk to me about it,” said the learner.

Shalyefu however made it clear his school is only prepared to take back the suspended learners if they bring their parents along to apologise for their misconduct and for the charges against them.

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