Member organizations of Tanzania Education Network (TEN/MET) with deep concern condemn the recent violence against a student perpetrated to Sebastian Chingulu a form three student at Mbeya Secondary School, Mbeya region.
We at TEN/MET commend the Government through the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Reginal Administration and Local Government and Ministry of Home Affairs for taking immediate actions in addressing the situation; including legal actions against the school’s Head Teacher and the involved teachers-on-training for their brutal actions contrary to the rules guiding administration of corporal punishment in schools.
This is just one incident which has been brought to public attention through various media. The question is, how many incidents as such occur in schools and pass without public knowledge?
While supporting the statements released by different stakeholders condemning the incident, TEN/MET would solely focus on systems of teacher education and student care and development which if strengthened, reduce such actions or incidents.
In fact, the issue brings up a lot of questions regarding teacher education system in Tanzania. The first concern is on the selection of students intending to study teaching. It is possible that the report on the character of the students selected to join teaching is not considered. For example, previously, teachers of the given school could propose a course that a student should take (self-form) considering many factors including student’s character. As a result, students with not teaching character end up joining teaching courses thus get involved such incidents as occurred in Mbeya.
Secondly, it is possible that the teaching curriculum emphasizes more on how to teach than student’s nurturing and development, teacher’s ethics as well as code of conduct that guide the relationship between teachers and students. Thirdly, it shows that there is a management problem at Mbeya Secondary School after failing to take measures in line with the laws and regulations guiding administration of corporal punishment which stipulates that a student can be canned not more than 4 strokes administered by the School Head or any other person delegated by the School Head.
- Students selected to join teaching profession should be recommended by their former secondary schools (form four/six) after character assessment.
- The teaching curriculum used to teach in Universities’ should be reviewed with proper incorporation of key components pertaining students behavior nurturing, teachers ethics as well as code of conduct guiding the relationship between teachers and students.
- Student corporal punishment guideline should be distributed to all colleges offering teaching courses for the purpose of circulating among students.
- The government should set up a formal system of reporting incidents of violence against students.
- The teaching environment in schools should be friendly to both female and male students.
- Teachers’ union (CWT) at all levels should set up a regular routine of training teachers in order to build friendly relationship with students.
- Students should respect their teachers and incase of concerns, proper reporting should be done including informing parents/guardians, Head of School or School Board.
- Parents should make follow up on their children’s educational and discipline progress and also nurture children’s discipline and respect towards their teachers.
 Tanzania Education Network/Mtandao wa Elimu Tanzania (TEN/MET) is a national education network of 170 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working in the education sector in Tanzania.