Friday, July 12, 2024

Dikgosi implicate parents in student indiscipline

There is a running joke that begins circulating on social media at the onset of each long weekend or festive season. The joke is centred on the antics of “Junior”, an archetypal town-raised spoilt brat whose anti-social behaviour is largely the direct result of an overindulgent mother. When Junior and his mother visit their home village during the holidays, everyone’s life is upended. Unlike other children, Junior doesn’t do any chores around the homestead and at his mother’s insistence, is never corporally punished. Where the mother feels that Junior has gone overboard, the punishment could be in the form of a plea followed by a kiss: “Tla kwano papa ke go sune.” In one respect, this immunity from real punishment provides motivation for Junior to say inappropriate things like “Granny, where is your boyfriend?”

As the 2024 festive season approaches, there will be no shortage of serio-comical brace-yourself-for-Junior jokes directed at a group of urbanites that villagers call “Ma-Gaborone.” Junior-type misconduct became the topic of discussion when the lower house of Parliament, Ntlo ya Dikgosi, debated a corporal punishment motion. This method of punishment is regulated by the Education Act, whose regulations limit application of corporal punishment to school management. The cane used to administer the punishment should itself be of particular length. Through a motion, Kgosi Lotlamoreng II of Barolong-boo-Tshidi requested the government “to consider amending the Education Regulations to allow administration of corporal punishment on students.”

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