Missionary Schools and Discipline: How far, is too far?

It’s common knowledge that Schools owned by religious institutions appear to be the melting point of discipline and the training ground for moral consciousness. It’s not even unconnected to this idea that most parents and guardians alike, prefer sending their children/wards to these schools in a pleasing heave of relief. But overtime, the bar of moral values by these institutions has seemingly lost touch with what is obtainable in the sense of enforcing moral values.

Of Course, there is no gainsaying the fact that education is even more appreciative, when an individual is seasoned with a blend of an enduring and enviable moral fiber. Strong enough to wade through a morally deficient society. Apparently, the religious institutions have overtime, stood as moral compasses and standing examples of reputable enablers and custodians of good behavior.

 Good as this may sound, it does not suggest that a reasonable divide of other parents would always prefer the secular institutions for what they represent. And in most instances, would choose them over their religious counterparts.

Recently, there have been reports of religious institutions either being carefree with their students/pupils or instances of going overboard in entrenching and enforcing moral values on them. Most recently, there was a heartrending story of a South African female student brutally punished by resident Pastor and Educator at St Peter’s Combined Christian School in Mohlaletsi village in Sekhukhune District, Limpopo, South Africa.

Reports have it that the resident pastor, identified as Diketso Matibidi, allegedly flogged the Grade 12 learner with a Sjambok; A South African type of wipe. Diketso tortured the student for being late to the Sunday church service on the 12th of November, 2023.

Responding, the parents of the victim have strongly protested the action calling on the school to take decisive measures stressing that their child is traumatized and can no longer focus on her studies.

In the meantime, management of the school has reacted to the incident revealing that disciplinary hearing against the pastor is underway and that the victim would undergo a medical examination.

This article is not a proposition to, in any way, demean and discourage the patronage and engagement of religious institutions. However it sought to interrogate the level of disciplinary measures obtainable by these institutions. How far is really too far in instilling moral values on students/ wards of religious institutions?

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