MBALE – A female teacher in Mbale District is on the run after she allegedly caned a student and he died.
Ms. Annet Namono, who teaches at Nyondo Secondary school in Nyondo Sub-county, is alleged to have given Denis Wadeba, a Senior Three student, five strokes for refusing to do homework on Monday.
The student then reportedly collapsed before he was rushed by fellow students and teachers to St. Theresa Nyondo Health Centre III where he breathed his last.
Mr. Steven Mugoma, the deceased’s uncle, called for action against the teacher and the school for continuing to administer corporal punishment even when the government banned it in schools.
“We demand that errant teacher be punished and the family be compensated,” he said.
Ms. Sharon Nabugo, the sister to the deceased, said her brother had left home while in good health.
“I cannot believe that my brother is dead. He left home when he was fine and happy,” she said.
Ms. Florence Bweri, the school head teacher, confirmed that the student had been caned for not doing homework but declined to link it to his death
“I am told the teacher had given them work but those who had not done it were being given lashes with a small stick,” she said.
Elgon region police spokesperson Robert Tukei said investigations into the matter are ongoing.
“The body has been taken for postmortem but I am still waiting for more details,” he said.
Health workers at St Theresa Nyondo health centre III declined to be interviewed when contacted. The deceased is a resident of Wannyenya cell, Nabumali Town Council in Mbale.
In 1997, the government took a decision to ban corporal punishment in schools, yet it remains a public secret that this happens with some parents, sadly, encouraging it.
Unicef and the Education ministry suggest “positive discipline” as an alternative which includes non-violent consequences for poor behaviour. It uses consequences that replace the experience of humiliation.