Thank you Teacher 2017
and domestic violence.
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?