An investigation is expected to commence soon into the assault of a Bartica Secondary school student by a teacher and the outcome of that probe will determine the way forward for the teacher.
“This teacher was, in his view, and in the view of many parents, merely disciplining. That is not how we expect disciplining to happen and we have very strong rules about what must happen, what processes must be employed and engaged before a child can be disciplined.
“It would be up to the investigation to find out if that was complied with,” Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand told the News Room in an invited comment on Monday.
According to Manickchand, the teacher, identified as Morris Waddell has since been sent on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.
The News Room had reported that the incident stemmed after the student turned up to school wearing white socks, instead of black, as is the school’s dress code.
In a video that has begun circulating, the teacher is seen pushing the child down into his seat at least three times while violently pointing a ruler at him and hitting him on the feet.
The teacher proceeds to grab the student by his left foot and flipped him on the ground, with the student landing on his back.
With the student still on the ground, the teacher removes the shoes and the socks from his feet. This was done in the presence of the entire class.
In recent months, there have been several incidents of violence in schools involving students, teachers and even parents. Manickchand had repeatedly said these incidents will not be tolerated.
According to Manickchand, efforts are currently ongoing which will see several programmes being rolled out soon to tackle this.
“But we are going to publish shortly what each school must do with their children…We have already began to streamline what we want at the schools. Even as we address all schools, we still have to have individual looks because some schools are more vulnerable to different kinds of behaviour than others, for a variety of reasons, now all together related to education and schools but more other schools,” the Education Minister explained.