By: Annakleta Haikera
The Kavango West teacher who made children crawl on the hard ground has apologised and vowed not to make the same mistake again.
Christine Kupembona, the only teacher at Pusa Primary school, was arrested on 5 March 2022 for the incident that happened on 17 February 2022.
Kabembona appeared in the Kahenge Magistrate’s Court on 7 February 2022. She was released on N$5 000-bail on 11 March 2022. The court wants her back on charges of assault on 16 June 2022.
The teacher told The Villager that she never intended to make the children suffer.
“I am sorry. It wasn’t my intention. Not everyone is perfect, you know, and we are all human, and we make many mistakes, but we learn from them. I apologise for everything that has happened, especially to those learners and parents I have hurt, on Thursday, 17 February,” she said.
She recounted the day, saying that everything happened so fast when learners arrived late to school from Karo Village.
According to Kabembona, that day, she punished the learners by making them crawl on the hard ground.
When some of the learners failed to attend classes the next day, she got worried.
She was then informed by a woman from Karo Village that the learners she made crawl sustained injuries.
“I told her to inform the parents that I would take them to the nearby hospital if I got a car. I told her I would look for a car since I don’t have one myself,” the teacher said.
She managed to hire a vehicle on 22 February and took all seven pupils to Bunya Health Centre for treatment.
“I bought them lunch and brought them back to their houses. The learners were not badly hurt because if they were, they could have been transported to Rundu State Hospital,” she said.
According to Kupembona, the Kavango West educational office nor the inspector knew about the incident.
Kabembona also informed some school board members and the Karo Traditional Authority.
“They just noticed it on social media. I went for a school workshop on 27 February just to be arrested on 5 March. I was very shocked,” she recalled.
She added that she felt like a dream because the police had been looking for me throughout.
Kupembona said she usually does not punish learners because she loves them like they are her own.
“I have become their guardian, teacher, and comforter,” she said.
Kupembona said it would be better if parents could talk to teachers about such matters or go to the inspector’s office and report the matter.
“I feel the arrest was just fast. They didn’t want to hear my side of the story,” she lamented. “Sadly, I am not sure if I will return to the school or not because I am afraid.”
Kabembona had not spoken to the inspector about her fate as a teacher by Monday.