Call for harsh ac­tion against abu­sive teach­ers

The New Age (Free State) - - NEWS - LILLIAN SELAPISA lil­lians@the­newage.co.za

SCHOOL gov­ern­ing bod­ies, par­ents and prin­ci­pals should take stronger ac­tion against teach­ers who phys­i­cally abuse pupils so as to put a stop to such be­hav­iour.

This was said by child ad­vo­cacy and hu­man­i­tar­ian group World Vi­sion South Africa, re­act­ing to re­cent re­ports of teacher vi­o­lence against pupils, es­pe­cially in KZN.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion said the per­pe­tra­tors should be pub­licly named and shamed as the South African Coun­cil of Ed­u­ca­tors (SAACE) in­tends to do once it has fi­nalised the le­gal­i­ties around the move.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion said proper back­ground checks which in­cludes teacher so­cial me­dia pages must be­come stan­dard prac­tice.

Re­cent re­ports in­clude the sus­pen­sion of seven teach­ers in KZN schools, six of whom from three dif­fer­ent were ro­man­ti­cally in­volved with pupils.

The sev­enth teacher was caught on video vi­ciously as­sault­ing a pupil at Md­lamse High School.

In Ku­ru­man in the North­ern Cape three teach­ers have been ac­cused of al­legedly hav­ing “sex­ual re­la­tion­ships” with pupils.

In Gaut­eng, a teacher has been sus­pended fol­low­ing allegations of sex­ual as­sault in­volv­ing nine pupils at Ko­dumela Pri­mary School in Pre­to­ria.

Na­tional di­rec­tor of World Vi­sion South Africa Paula Barnard said it was un­ac­cept­able that chil­dren were vul­ner­a­ble and ex­posed to such hor­rific acts of vi­o­lence at schools.

“With a high per­cent­age of acts of vi­o­lence to­wards chil­dren com­mit­ted at home, schools should be a haven for chil­dren where they can flour­ish and even find refuge,” Barnard said.

“We urge par­ties in­volved to swiftly and de­ci­sively deal with the per­pe­tra­tors in ques­tion and be­lieve the only way for­ward is to pub­lish the names of the guilty par­ties to pre­vent any fu­ture acts of vi­o­lence and sex­ual mis- con­duct,” she said. World Vi­sion South Africa re­cently formed part of the south­ern African launch of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s global cam­paign It Takes a World to End Vi­o­lence Against Chil­dren which aligns with the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goal to “end the abuse, ex­ploita­tion, traf­fick­ing and all forms of vi­o­lence and tor­ture against chil­dren”.

The coun­tries where World Vi­sion op­er­ates (Le­sotho, Malawi, Mozam­bique and Zam­bia) will tackle child mar­riages.

Swazi­land and Zim­babwe will fight sex­ual vi­o­lence and South Africa will wres­tle sex­ual and phys­i­cal vi­o­lence.

PIC­TURE: FLICKR

CON­DEMNED: Strong ac­tion against teach­ers who phys­i­cally abuse pupils must be taken.

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