New guidelines for school discipline
A FORM of protocol establishing standards to deal with teachers guilty of corporal punishment and sexual assault has been approved by the Council of Education Ministers and would be out for public comment soon, Basic Education Minister Angie Moshekga said yesterday.
“This protocol deals with the definitions of what constitutes corporal punishment, including instances where pupils are publicly humiliated by educators,” said Motshekga in Pretoria.
She said despite it being outlawed 20 years ago, images and videos from social media show corporal punishment still persists in South African schools. “Disturbing statistics” indicate that more than half of the children in schools are still being punished.
“If a teacher is found guilty of (assault with the intent to do) grievous bodily harm, that is a dismissible offence, and teachers who physically harm pupils will lose their jobs.”
Teachers would be trained in alternative discipline practices. Motshegka said she was disgusted by news that a principal and two teachers at a school in KwaZulu-Natal had gang-raped a pupil.
“My attitude is that of completely disgust, disappointment and pain around this thing.”
On the situation in Kuruman, Northern Cape, where it was alleged that many girls had fallen pregnant, Motshekga said a probe showed 16 girls fell pregnant over a period of three years. Three of the pupils were impregnated by teachers. – ANA