The Ministry of Education has terminated the head of school and teacher involved in the physical assault incident at Nadi Special Needs School.

Any official who failed in his or her responsibility in bringing the evidence to the attention of the HR department will also be taken to task.

“Schools are safe places where our children go to learn and make friends and any threat to that safety will not be tolerated,” said Minister for Education, Hon Rosy Akbar.

“Physical abuse does long term harm to a child causing fear, confusion, anger and guilt or shame over being assaulted. This can lead to increased aggression, antisocial behaviour, physical injury and mental health problems for children.”

The Minister reminded teachers that they are paid by taxpayers to educate and keep students under their charge safe.

“In this instance, the terminated teacher inflicted corporal punishment a student which is unacceptable and the head of school, instead of protecting the student decided to protect the guilty teacher.”

“Any teacher who fails to protect and care for students will face severe consequences, and if a teacher has knowledge of and fails to report such instances, they are also liable.”

“Head of schools and teachers need to keep in mind that the Child Welfare Act has been set out to promote and protect the health and welfare of children in Fiji through mandatory reporting.”

“Under the Child Welfare Act, it is your duty to report to the police if you become aware or reasonably suspect that a child has been or is being harmed.”

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