Teacher at­tacks trou­bling Le­sufi

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TE­BOGO MONAMA

GAUT­ENG Ed­u­ca­tion MEC Panyaza Le­sufi is con­cerned that teach­ers are un­der siege.

He said yes­ter­day that he was wor­ried about the in­creas­ing num­ber of teach­ers who have been at­tacked by pupils on school premises.

“Schools are meant to be a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for teach­ing and learn­ing, there­fore it is dis­ap­point­ing that staff mem­bers are be­ing phys­i­cally as­saulted or threat­ened by learn­ers.

“These in­ci­dents of learner mis­con­duct un­der­mine the author­ity of educators.”

In 2014, 10 cases were re­ported and this more than dou­bled to 26 in 2015 and then dipped slightly to 21 last year.

Last year, four pupils at Mo­let­sane High School in Soweto, who were caught on video man­han­dling their teacher, were sus­pended.

‘Learn­ers as­sault or threaten school staff’

Three oth­ers were sus­pended from Emshukan­tambo High School, also in Soweto, for as­sault­ing a teacher dur­ing a les­son.

Le­sufi said most of the at­tacks on teach­ers and staff mem­bers oc­curred in Joburg East and ac­counted for a high num­ber of as­sault cases – seven cases in 2014, five in 2015 and four last year.

“The depart­ment has a pol­icy of zero tol­er­ance to bul­ly­ing or any form of mis­con­duct,” Le­sufi said.

“Any­one found to be trans­gress­ing this pol­icy is dealt with in line with the South African Schools Act. Cases of bul­ly­ing are acted on im­me­di­ately and par­ents are in­formed of the in­ci­dent, while the per­pe­tra­tors go through dis­ci­plinary pro­cesses where ap­pro­pri­ate sanc­tion or ex­pul­sion is rec­om­mended to the head of depart­ment. Psy­choso­cial sup­port is pro­vided to both vic­tims and per­pe­tra­tors.”

He said pupils found guilty of mis­con­duct were re­ha­bil­i­tated and re­turned to school af­ter com­plet­ing a di­ver­sion pro­gramme. But not all learn­ers could be re­in­stated. In 2015, out of 26 pupils fac­ing se­ri­ous mis­con­duct, 14 were ex­pelled and 12 re­in­stated.

Le­sufi urged learn­ers to re­spect school rules and staff.

“The depart­ment strongly con­demns any mis­de­meanour in schools, which could lead to se­ri­ous ac­tion be­ing taken against learn­ers or educators. We urge all learn­ers to re­frain from acts of mis­con­duct, and im­plore par­ents to as­sist the depart­ment in in­still­ing learner dis­ci­pline in and out­side the school en­vi­ron­ment.”

Panyaza Le­sufi

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