A teacher at Arise Nursery and Primary School, Asaba, Delta State was arrested by the police for flogging a 19-month old child to death penultimate weekend.
The deceased pupil, who was identified as Obinna was allegedly given 31 strokes of the cane by the suspect for playing with water and getting wet.
The pupil was said to have fallen into into a coma after receiving the strokes of the cane from the teacher. The brutal act was greeted with widespread condemnation, with many calling on the authority to melt out severe punishment on the culprit.
Obviously, this is not the first time that this type of act is perpetrated on a Minor. Even recently, the media was awash with cases of bullying, brutalization and outright killing of pupils by some unscrupulous elements in the society, most of whom are supposed to be caregivers.
Speaking to The Educational Tide, a parent who wants to be simply referred to as Joy said, the frustration in the society is overwhelming.
” This could be a case of mental health. There is frustration everywhere. The world is fast becoming a different place from what we used to know. Now, what does a child of 19- month know? He can not even talk or ascertain right from wrong”.
A teacher and mother of four, Mrs Chigbu said, ” It is insane for a teacher to beat a toddler, let alone, beating him to death. I think the teacher needs a therapist. And whatever the case may be, he should be made to face the music of this atrocious cruelty”.
However, a clergy, pastor Ladipo put the blame on the doorstep of overzealous mothers. According to him the action and orientation of most women are reprehensible.
” Most mothers in a bid to compete with their friends, rush their children to school as early as possible, even when such a child could hardly talk. Such overzealous mothers rush their wards to school, not minding the implications. Sometimes, you hear them say, my daughter or my son has graduated at 20. Most of them are this as a status symbol”.
In all of this, it is a pointer to the fact that the system in the country is not working.
In Germany, for instance, if you register your child in a school, you will be asked some questions. This includes, if you will allow your child to be asked some questions by the school management. If your answer is yes, then , if the child is asked if the parents flogs him or her and the child says yes, the parent will be in for it.
Perhaps Finland has the best childhood education system in the world. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Reports, it has the highest rate of high school completion in the world.
In Finland, children start school at age 7. This of course prepare them psychologically for the pedagogy of learning.
Alas! In Nigeria, it is commonsight to see kids as young as 3 years, along a busy road at an ungodly hour of the early morning being dragged to a far-away school amid sleep- walking.
And the teacher too, coming from a home bedeviled with problems. The blame goes round.