Teacher attacks troubling Lesufi
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.”