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13.02.2009 International

Shock as Tanzania teachers caned

Shock as Tanzania teachers caned

The teachers union in Tanzania is considering legal action after 19 school teachers were given the cane.

The primary teachers were caned by a police officer after an inquiry into poor exam results at three schools.

The report blamed teachers for being late or not showing up for work and not teaching the official syllabus.

The deputy education minister has condemned the caning but asked the teachers not to take action until the case has been investigated.

The union is thinking of taking action against District Commissioner (DC) Albert Mnali, who ordered the caning in the northern region of Bukoba.

The BBC's Vicky Ntetema in Dar es Salaam says the case comes at a time when parents and human rights groups in Tanzania have been calling for a ban on flogging of schoolchildren throughout the country.

Deputy Education Minister Mwantumu Bakari Mahiza told the Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation that the DC's action was "abnormal".

She said the DC and the police commissioner should "have their heads examined" and called for a commission to investigate the case.