12 June 2018
The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU)would like to express its disgust at the continuing scourge of violence against teachers by learners and among learners. The latest is the assault of a teacher by two learners at Newlands Secondary.
Her crime was that she confiscated their cell phone in the classroom.
Last week, a Khandlela Secondary School learner in Esikhawini, KwaZulu Natal fainted after she was engaged in a brawl with another learner in full view of her classmates who did very little to intervene.
We will never stop condemning these barbaric acts lest they become a norm. We can never normalise violence.
This incident against the teacher is just a tip of the iceberg as many cases go unreported. When SADTU conducted Principals' Seminars on violence in schools in 2015, we learnt that many cases go un-reported due to fear and shame. Some teachers end up leaving the profession due to low professional and personal esteem caused by the abuse.
These learners humiliate teachers in this manner without any fear of consequences and we must take a stand against this trend and protect the profession. We are living in a society in which the abnormal has become normal and we cannot accept that any longer. Society must take responsibility because a school is a microcosm of the community, the parents must increase their involvement with the education of their children tenfold if we are to develop our country.
We have long been calling on Government to put measures in place to ensure that our schools are safe and to provide psychosocial support for both teachers and learners and to assist in shaping learner behaviour. However, our pleas are ignored. A culture of respect, tolerance and non-violence needs to be entrenched in our schools. However, this begins in the home instilled by parents.
Under no circumstances must teaching be seen as a dangerous profession and at this rate, that eventuality is inevitable. It should not surprise us when we find ourselves struggling to recruit new teachers into the system whilst we experience a high early exit rate from it. The violence against teachers must be seen as the national crisis that it is becoming and it should now be handled at the highest level possible.
We are calling for the revival of the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC) that requires the learners, teachers, parents, communities and government to be actively involved in the education of the nation.
ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke; 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi; 082 709 5651
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157