Swaziland
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AN EXAMPLE FOR ALL MEMBERS OF SOCIETY

Sir,
 
How admiring it is to find that there are still people who not only care but are also quite vigilant of other people’s circumstances. While reading an old newspaper the other day I saw how some teachers took it upon themselves to find out why this particular child exhibited such offish behaviour.
Where more often than not this child would have been reprimanded for wetting herself, the teachers looked beyond this, on a mission to find out why this young girl would remain behind when her classmates were given a pee-break.

Belief

Another teacher would have pulled the longest stick they could find to ‘abolish’ this behaviour with the belief that this particular child was purposefully wetting herself. Another would probably even make fun of this young girl by making her the spectacle of the class to ‘demonstrate’ how not to soil yourself and how you look thereafter and what have you. While the issue of whether or not to fully abolish corporal punishment in schools rages on, this particular child’s behaviour would have led many to strike or even scold her instead of looking at her circumstances.

Example

This should be an example to even other members of society who should keep an eye out for children’s behaviour as not just a ‘weakness’ in them but rather a physical reaction to abuse they may be suffering at the hands of the vultures who live in our midst. For some children, speaking out may be such a problem that even when facing real trauma they may hide the truth; usually because the more the adult probes the more impatient they may get with the child, to the extent of even using foul language.

At the end of the day the real issue of the child goes unsolved though noticed and the perpetrator of this violence goes on scot-free. Most emaSwati believe that a child who constantly talks alone (imaginary friends), or draws strange or gory pictures is bewitched – which is only true if you believe in black magic – their ability to express themselves diminishes when their only outlet is clogged by overbearing guardians. It takes the strength then of such individuals who look beyond a child’s physical behaviour or exhibition to ask why such a child would suddenly change and fear going to the toilet, yet wet themselves shortly thereafter. Society needs such teachers and individuals in particular.

Interests

Our schools need teachers who will always put the interests of our children ahead of their own and become mentors, guardians and family to the children; some of whom do not even know how to socialise or have something to eat at the end of the day. Some are parentless while others rely on older siblings to take care of them – some of whom may be minors themselves. Schools should be a place to learn, socialise, and grow and have fun without fear as the adults from grounds men, maids, cooks to teachers have the children’s best interests at heart and security is at a maximum to see incidents such as rape, murder and drug abuse befalling our children come to a halt.

Andzile