The Education for Social Justice Foundation says it is outraged and infuriated by endless violence directed at teachers by learners in some of the schools across the country.
The recent attack on a teacher by a learner at a school in Vaal must be prioritized by the South African Police Service‚ said Hendrick Makaneta‚ the foundation’s deputy chairperson.
“We can no longer fold our arms and watch when teachers are harassed by learners in schools. Schools are not hiding places for ill-disciplined learners. We therefore call on the Department of Basic Education to immediately expel the learner who was involved in the harassment of the teacher at Vaal without any delay.”
The foundation also urged government to act decisively to restore law and order in schools‚ in order to maintain the necessary confidence of parents and members of the public in SA’s schooling system.
It recommended that government should install cameras in all classrooms across South African schools.
“The installation of cameras in classrooms will go a long way in exposing lazy teachers and ill-disciplined learners who view the school as another place of entertainment. Investigations have shown that schools which have cameras do not experience violence or bullying amongst learners as everyone within the premises knows that they are being watched. The installation of cameras will also improve relations amongst teachers and ensure that dysfunctional schools are exposed.”
This is truly disrespectful, Whats going on in schools these day! 😧 pic.twitter.com/Gq8qQjhvW6
— Lasizwe (@lasizwe) March 9, 2018
Commenting on concerns that the installation of cameras was costly‚ the foundation said “if we are serious in curbing school violence‚ we will have to invest in cameras for the long term benefit of the system itself…”.
The foundation said it had tried to raise the issue of violence in schools with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in September 2017. “Our request fell on deaf ears. We will be escalating our request to the office of President Cyril Ramaphosa.”
On Friday‚ the Gauteng education department said it was investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident depicted on a viral video showing a learner throwing something at her teacher.
The video footage shows the learner from a Three Rivers school throwing what appears to be an exercise book at a teacher in the classroom. The teacher walks out of the class while appearing to make a phone call after being hit by the book.
The department said a process to take the learner through a disciplinary hearing has started.
The department had also offered counselling to the affected teacher through the employee wellness programme.
“We urge all our learners to refrain from acts of misconduct in schools; and implore parents to assist the department in instilling learner discipline in and outside the school environment‚” Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said.