This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Ohangwena pupils sent home for not cutting hair

PUPILS from Nehemia Udeiko Haufiku Combined School in the Ohangwena region were on Monday sent home by their school principal for allegedly failing to cut their hair the previous week.

Community member Mathew Hamukoto, who lives near the school at Omupindi village, claims the number of pupils sent home was between 70 and 80. However, school principal Israel Iipinge told The Namibian on Tuesday he sent five pupils home after they repeatedly ignored his instructions to shave or cut their hair.

He said he told pupils last week Monday and Friday to cut their hair or they would not be allowed to attend classes.

“When they returned to school on Monday, one of them came to me and informed me that he could not cut his hair during the weekend as he was busy, but he brought scissors,” Iipinge said.

The pupil then asked a fellow pupil to cut his hair, he said.

While the two were cutting their hair, four other pupils joined them.

“While they were cutting each other’s hair, they were approached by Mathew Hamukoto, who asked why they were cutting their hair. He then asked if he could take a picture so he could share it on social media,” Iipinge said.

He said he was not surprised that Hamukoto shared the information with the media and claimed the number of pupils sent home was between 70 and 80, but this was not true.

A teacher from the school, who spoke on condition of anonymity, contradicted the principal’s version and said the number of children turned away were more than five.

Ohangwena regional education director Isak Hamatwi on Wednesday said he was awaiting a report on the incident from the circuit inspector of education. Meanwhile, Hamukoto said he believes some pupils from disadvantaged families did not cut their hair at home because they do not have scissors.

Education executive director Sanet Steenkamp said in terms of policy, all pupils, teachers, parents, school principals, directors and officials at the head office should focus on issues of critical importance.

“We have expressed our stance to the schools to avoid disruption. We are now busy with mock exams. Most of the regions have completed the mock exams. I cannot see why hairstyle issues still play a pertinent role,” she said.

Steenkamp said pupils should rather be encouraged to study hard for their examinations.

“I am really condemning this issue of parents not having oversight of pupils. There has been so much chaos now after the weekend, and that comes because pupils are given leeway to do as they please, and we cannot tolerate that in our schools.”

Steenkamp said hairstyles should not keep children from receiving proper education.

However, the ministry would not tolerate ill discipline and disrespect, she said.

Steenkamp said every school has rules and pupils are obliged to comply with these rules. She said pupils must accept the consequences of not complying with schools’ code of conduct.

The Namibian last week reported that Okakarara Senior Secondary School has been accused of sending more than 80 pupils home over the issue of hairstyles.

Several parents complained after their children returned home without attending classes. Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) spokesperson Nangolo Dorthea last week said pupils should not be allowed to wear their hair as they please, but schools must not send them home either.

“The teachers can call parents and deal with the issue after school, or use another form of punishment.

“It should not be during school hours, because now they will miss out,” she said.