Tanzania – Magufuli: “You did an excellent job by beating them up”

Tanzanian President John Magufuli congratulated a senior official in a region of his country for beating high school students. The latter is accused of setting fire to their dormitories.

A video, widely shared, shows the regional commissioner, Albert Chalamila, beat a group of students lying on their stomachs under the gaze of their comrades.

These acts had, in the past, led Mr. Chalamila to be criticized by Minister of State Suleman Jafo, who considered that “only heads of schools were allowed to use corporal punishment.” But President Magufuli, who is known for his unrestrained outings, has called for a change in the law on corporal punishment so that all teachers can apply it.

Also, he would like to see the rules relaxed at the appropriate time to give this correction to a student. Today, the law says that school heads must have a valid reason for administering this punishment and not exceed four strokes.

There are fewer and fewer practitioners of corporal punishment in Tanzania, and even school heads are discouraged from using this form of punishment. The Tanzanian President rejected the arguments of those who say that physically punishing students is a violation of their fundamental rights: “I spoke to the Regional Commissioner of Mbeya (Mr. Chalamila) and told him: you did an excellent job in beating them up.”

“He should have harassed them even more. Those who defend human rights must pay for the dormitories – these buildings were built with the contributions of poor parents,” the President said.

In addition to corporal punishment, the students were expelled from the school.

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