Increased cases of child abuse worries education authorities

Lilongwe,The ever-increasing cases of child abuse perpetrated by guardians at homes is said to be another major challenge that is causing poor performance in education to concerned children in the country.

Primary Education Advisor (PEA) Bosten Manyasi for Ching’ombe Zone that falls under Central West Division in Lilongwe has disclosed this in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Monday in Lilongwe.

”It’s very perplexing that some parents and guardians heartlessly abuse children and go to school psychologically and physically disturbed. This eventually affect the learners’ concentration in class hence poor performance is extremely recorded from such victims,” Manyasi said.

According to Manyasi child abuse at tender age is one factor that is warranting the escalation of drop outs in some schools.

‘Some parents and guardians deny children food, lock them outside houses at night, and exercise physical beatings while some just use dehumanizing words as part of punishments when children are in wrong, some children flee their homes and engage in child labour just in search of peace, quitting school in the process.’

”This is very common in my zone, I appeal to such parents to treat these children fairy as human beings,” he advised.

The PEA made these remarks at Chimwala Primary School in reaction to an incident where a standard 3 female pupil at the school sustained deep cuts in the head after an alleged brutal beating by step mother for eating a reserved cooked rice with a step sister.

”We separately summoned both parents after being tipped by her fellow pupils that the earlier report we received for her alleged illness was fake, but that she was injured after physically been harassed by a step mother.”

”The father admitted that the step mother harasses her whenever he is out for work. He told us on this fateful day the mother called him to rush home where he found the victim whimpering in a pool of blood and he hurried her to the hospital,” said the Deputy Head teacher, White Likome.

Likome added that after this incident the 11 year old Malesi (not real name) who according to him is the brightest pupil in class has been absent something he says will affect her overall performance.

He further told Mana that the mother who threatened the pupil of unspecified action if she revealed what had exactly happened, confessed both to the school management and the husband of physically hitting Malesi with a dry wood to punishing her.

Malesi told the DH teacher that the step mother bought her a hat to cover her head to conceal the cuts. She also coached her to say that she tripped on a sharp object while playing at the home -yard parallel to what her playmates saw her being whipped in the house with the dry wood.

The school administration has since formed ‘Pupils’ Rights Groups’ to equip pupils with knowledge and skills on how they can defend themselves when they are facing such brutalities.

”Sadly this development is happening when just recently a standard two pupil was also allegedly raped by her biological father at home, the case is being handled police,” Likome disclosed.

Chief Gender and Development Officer, in the Ministry of Gender and Children Welfare, Alice Mkandawire advised children facing such cruelty to report to police and other avenues to seek protection.

”They must report to social welfare offices, human rights organizations and also in hospitals we have one stop centers where they can get assistance.”

”Child protection Act, criminalizes such activities in our homes, please let’s join hands to put this maltreatment to a stop. Harassing acts to children leave in them lots of serious psychological tortures,” Mkandawire said.

Malesi hails from Chikhutu Village Tradional Authority (TA) Tsabango in Lilongwe.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA