Tanzania: Schoolboy, 13, dies after being beaten by teacher

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The death of a 13-year-old boy in Tanzania, after he was beaten by his teacher, has reignited the debate over corporal punishment in the country.

Sperius Eradius died on 27 August, a few days after being beaten by his teacher for allegedly stealing from another teacher at his school in the northern Kagera province. Local media reported earlier this week that two teachers have been charged with the boy’s murder following the incident.

Rights groups react to death of pupil

The death of Sperius Eradius has provoked an outcry from campaigners and right groups demanding an end to corporate punishment against children in Tanzanian schools. The Tanzania Media Women’s Association (Tamwa) said it hopes the case will prompt the authorities to put an end to cases of violent and humiliating punishments for school pupils.

The group point to additional recent cases, including an incident in 2016 where a girl was forced to remove her underwear before being caned by four teachers.

Tanzanian law still allows corporal punishment to take place and President Magufuli has publicly stated his support for caning children. Teachers are permitted to strike pupils up to four times on the hands or buttocks with a flexible stick and female pupils are only supposed to be punished by female teachers.

However, these guidelines are routinely flouted by teachers, according to rights groups. Human Rights Watch is one of numerous groups to have reported widespread violence and harassment in Tanzanian schools.

Featured image: By Ron Rieckenberg – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8633959

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.