New guide­lines for school dis­ci­pline

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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