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and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

Em­pow­er­ing Teach­ers

The em­pow­er­ing of teach­ers is crit­i­cal and con­tin­u­ous pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment is ex­tremely im­por­tant for them to cope with this surge of sex­ual of­fenses and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. Of course am bi­ased on the pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment, it must in­clude in­dige­nous knowl­edge, in par­tic­u­lar in­dige­nous dig­nity. As the teach­ers are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the re­sults of lack of dig­nity within the fam­ily, com­mu­nity and so­ci­ety, man­i­fest­ing from sex­ual of­fences and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. In­stead of re­ceiv­ing learn­ers at the school gate, they re­ceive undig­ni­fied lean­ers who have im­ma­ture bod­ies and minds, but have been vi­o­lated at the soul level. Thus chal­leng­ing the teach­ers on how to teach a bro­ken soul, with­out even un­der­stand­ing that this soul is bro­ken by fam­ily, com­mu­nity and so­ci­ety.

Dur­ing my high school vis­its, held brief dis­cus­sion with re­li­gious ed­u­ca­tion, siSwati and his­tory teach­ers shar­ing con­tents of the King Sob­huza II legacy book. Th­ese were in­spir­ing mo­ments and mem­o­ries, th­ese teach­ers deal with the core val­ues sys­tems of learn­ers, and th­ese vis­its em­pow­ered me to write a doc­u­men­tary pro­posal. Atibuye Ema­sisweni ‘ Restor­ing Dig­nity’ as it was ob­vi­ous that teach­ers need in­dige­nous knowl­edge to be part of their pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment and teach­ing ma­te­ri­als. This doc­u­men­tary was un­able to ac­cess fund­ing, and this fail­ure man­i­fested in my pur­su­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of the pro­posed Academy for African Lead­er­ship. An academy to pro­duce mul­ti­me­dia re­sources whilst pro­vid­ing mini-dis­ser­ta­tions and short cy­cle train­ing in­te­grat­ing in­dige­nous knowl­edge within pub­lic pol­icy.

Teach­ers pre­pare fu­ture lead­ers, cur­rently they are not em­pow­ered with in­dige­nous knowl­edge, par­tic­u­larly in­dige­nous dig­nity. Yet teach­ers daily con­front symp­toms on lack of dig­nity ev­i­dent in sex­ual of­fences and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence within their pro­fes­sional lives. We ex­pect teach­ers pro­duced the sci­en­tists, en­gi­neers, tech­nol­ogy ex­perts and math­e­ma­ti­cians, when at the school gate they re­ceive vic­tims of sex­ual of­fences and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. Teach­ers are not ma­gi­cians, they must be em­pow­ered with sup­port ser­vices within the schools.

They need par­ents sup­port in re­fer­ring learn­ers chal­lenged by sex­ual of­fences and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence to the ap­pro­pri­ate pro­fes­sional within the school sys­tem.

The nurs­ing, so­cial worker, and psy­chol­o­gist ser­vices must be ac­ces­si­ble to em­power teach­ers, so that they can fo­cus on teach­ing ac­cord­ing to their qual­i­fi­ca­tions. Em­pow­er­ing teach­ers with sup­port­ive ser­vices for them- selves to deal with all the stress and trauma they are sub­jected to is just as cru­cial.


In con­clu­sion, em­pow­er­ing teach­ers with sup­port ser­vices them­selves is a must. We read in the news­pa­pers symp­toms on lack of dig­nity amongst some teach­ers with shock and dis­may. Thus un­der­stand­ing how the lack of dig­nity within fam­i­lies, com­mu­nity and so­ci­ety is se­verely im­pact­ing on this no­ble pro­fes­sion. When teach­ers are en­gaged in sex­ual of­fences and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, we are dis­mayed and shocked. But they do come to school with bag­gage from fam­i­lies, com­mu­ni­ties and so­ci­ety, how can they be im­mune when we are all in­fested with lack of dig­nity. The news we read on the sex­ual of­fences and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence that oc­curs within the teach­ing pro­fes­sion whether as vic­tims or per­pe­tra­tors, must be un­der­stood as in­dica­tive to so­ci­ety’s lack of dig­nity. There is no pro­tec­tion from loss of dig­nity, even the no­ble fall when there is lack of dig­nity, and this is ev­i­dent in the sex­ual of­fences and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. Hope­fully when the Sex­ual Of­fences and Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Bill is pro­mul­gated into an Act of Par­lia­ment we will wit­ness change. This change will re­quire cases be re­ported, such that, even those who are con­sid­ered role mod­els are taken to court.

This act must not be a tooth­less ‘dog’ that im­proves our so­cial co­he­sion in­di­ca­tors when we re­port in­ter­na­tion­ally. It must be a foot sol­dier that seeks to en­sure that we take the healthy steps into restor­ing dig­nity. We need this law in or­der to en­sure that sex­ual of­fenses and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is taken se­ri­ous. And then we need to deal with chang­ing the at­ti­tudes and be­hav­iours, and this re­quires restor­ing dig­nity now in­dige­nous dig­nity, Ubuntu. This was ob­vi­ous when my de­voted teacher friend was shar­ing her in­fantry and pri­mary school ex­pe­ri­ences. How th­ese chil­dren are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing pen­e­tra­tive sex, not ‘emadl­wane’ sex­ual ex­per­i­men­ta­tion with­out pen­e­tra­tion. When dis­ci­plined th­ese chil­dren even say ‘I have not done it in a long time’ or ‘you took out my panty and put your snake.’ We lack dig­nity for we nur­ture sex­ual of­fend­ers from in­fantry and pri­mary school, where is Ubuntu?

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