Commission for gender equality probes sexual violence in schools
Code of professional ethics states that teachers are to refrain from any form of sexual relationship and courting with learners.
We all know of learner who was or is in a relationship with an educator,which resulted in pregnancy and the educator continuing with life like it’s normal. While the young girls were victimized by society, the educators continued to receive the same respect and honour an upstanding hard-working educator would get.
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) met with the Basic Education Department to address concerns over sexual harassment at schools. According to an assessment conducted by the commission,it found that the Northern Cape is one of the province’s which has the highest record of sexual violence cases.
The department of education spokesperson, Lehuma Ntuane says the department is intending to host a safety and health summit before the end of this financial year to help come up with ways of dealing with the high rates of pregnancy and violence amongst the learners. He went on to say though schools in the rural areas are the most hit by such incidents the department works tirelessly with limited resources and man power to make sure the learners receive the same treatment as those in urban areas.
Veronica Masese was impregnated by her high school teacher back in 2006 while she was in grade 11,she is now 30 years old and raising her son singlehandedly while the father of her son has moved to a different province.
The school never heard nor found out about the pregnancy because her parents had agreed with the conflicted teacher to deal with the issue privately.
Parents are worried about the safety of their children in schools.
“We take our children to school to get an education ,only for them to return pregnant or traumatize by those we left them in their safety”.
While sexual violence continues to rise ,South Africa Council of Educators (SACE) has been slow in eradicating predators camouflaging as teachers in classrooms. In their annual report which was tabled in parliament 633 cases have been investigated, 93 of these were of rape and sexual assaults of children at schools, 67 of the 633 teachers were found guilty. Thirty educators were struck off the roll of educators. SACE spokesperson, Themba Ndlovu explained that a new rule will be applied to new educators registering under SACE.
“Teachers will now be expected to present a police clearance certificate when registering with the council, I urge parents, children and teachers to report such cases so an end can be put to this horrendous behaviour.”
SACE acknowledged in their report that the numbers of reported cases of improper relationships between teachers and learners is growing at an alarming rate,leading the council to come up with strict measures of dealing with it
In 2017, 30 learners of Boithutong high school outside Kuruman were allegedly impregnated by teachers within the same school .It is also alleged that there were arrangement of payments by the teachers to coerce the learners to sleep with them.
This led to a public outcry which fell on deaf ears as the violence continues within the rural areas and parents are silenced with a payout.
The commission received a number of complaints from parents concerning the sexual violence taking place in schools which led to the probe .
President Cyril Ramaphosa while addressing teachers of the SADTU union in Johannesburg pleaded with the teachers to stop initiating romantic and sexual relationships with learners.