A student in a government school in Kastina state has died after she was flogged for not doing her mathematics assignment at a school which was identified as Government Arabic secondary school. The deceased girl’s name is Fatima Tasi’u and according to Daily Trust, the father of Tasi’u known as Malam Tasi’u Maikano was called by the vice principal of the school on the 13th of February to come over to the school because his daughter has a health issue which is getting worse.
Tasi’u Maikano went on a 2-hour journey from Kofar Bai in Katsina town to the school in Sandamu Local Government Area of Katsina State with some of his relatives. On getting there he was told that she fell down after an evening bath and that she might have been hit by evil spirits.
The father of late Fatima took her daughter to the nearest hospital for her to receive treatment when he saw the condition of his daughter, on getting to Daura General Hospital which was less than a 15 minutes’ drive, the doctor who attended to her confirmed her dead.
Malam Tasi’u Maikano reported back to school that his daughter is dead and he immediately took the girl’s body back to Kofar Bai in Katsina town for her funeral rights and burial the next day which was on the 14th of February. The father later called the school after some days to ask for her late daughter school bags, books and other materials that she has in the school, it arrived and while going through them, he came across a book which the student refers to as the “slum book”, it is a diary where some of their daily events are recorded.
Fatima had documented how she feels on that very day she was flogged she wrote in Hausa language
“Allah Sarki ranar Alhamis munzo firef akaci miyi lilin muka yi malam Abu sikitu ya bugimu har ya fasni ko ma goshi banda lafia ina masassara da ciwon baya kamar na mutu”
which was translated to English as
“God is great. On Thursday at prep, we were asked to kneel down. Abu Sikiti beat us and I got wounded, I’m down with fever and my back aches like I’m dying.”
The father became very confused and said;
“When I came across this note, I became confused and called the vice principal and told him about it. When I didn’t hear from him after 15 minutes, I decided to go to the school with some of my relatives. He later called but I refused to pick it until we got to the school. On our way to the school, one of Fatima’s friends called me to find out how she was doing and I told her she’s dead. I heard her and the others burst into tears. I was shocked to learn that no one heard of her death.
When we got to the school, I showed them what she recorded on her ‘slum book’ and the principal later arranged some students who came and narrated that Fatima came out of the toilet, collapsed and fell sick thereafter. However, one of her classmates later told the gathering how the math teacher flogged them for not doing their homework, and when it got to Fatima’s turn, she begged not to be flogged on her back but hands.
What annoyed me was the principal and the teacher’s move to cover up what really happened. My family is pained because of that. Another thing was the school authority not doing enough during her sickness. Records show she wasn’t even taken to the school’s dispensary or Fago Town hospital or to Daura for proper medical attention.
More painful was their inability to come and condole with us during the funeral. The vice principal came four days after on his way to Dutsinma while the principal sent a message that she will come next week. Even her friends were not told she’s dead.”
The family members of the girl decided to take the matter to the Ministry of Education which they did, and the school heads and authorities were called upon for an explanation. The teacher who flogged her admitted to flogging the deceased child but it was only on her palm as late Fatima requested to be flogged on her palm and that was all he knows.
“When I came to flog her, she told me that I can only flog her on her palms which I did. This is all I know.”
Sources later unveiled that the teacher wasn’t even the school permanent teacher, but a part-time private teacher who gets a sum of 5,000 Naira monthly but nevertheless, he was queried for his negligence.