Predatory teachers continue to destroy learners’ futures
Note to Editors: Please find attached a soundbite in English by DA Member of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Sonja Boshoff MP.
Today, DA Member of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Sonja Boshoff MP, and DA Limpopo Provincial Leader, Jacques Smalle MPL, visited Molautsi Secondary School to find out what interventions are in place at the school following reports that 27 girls at the school are pregnant.
It was reported in the media that some learners were allegedly sleeping with teachers and we wanted to find out whether this is true, what actions school had taken and whether the alleged sexual assault was reported to the Limpopo Department of Education or the South African Council for Educators (SACE).
The deputy principal was not forthcoming with regard to the assistance that would be given to the learners. The Department had only promised to send psychologists to counsel the learners. The first session will take place on Monday, 13 August.
For a long time, the DA has raised concerns about SACE’s failure to vet teachers properly.
Following SACE’s admission earlier this year that they had not vetted teachers against the Sexual Offenders Register or Child Protection Register before issuing licences, as is required by Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, we laid a criminal complaint against the organisation’s leadership.
Pregnant learners must also continue to enjoy their rights to education and safety. The DA therefore welcomes the Draft National Policy on the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy in Schools, but we believe parts of the policy need to be strengthened.
The Western Cape Education Department has reduced teenage pregnancies by 25% through several interventions and we believe these should be replicated across the country.
Conversely, Limpopo recorded a 25% increase in learner pregnancies between 2014 and 2016 – an indictment on the provincial leadership’s failure to protect children.
Our children will never reach their full potential in schools where they are preyed on by the very teachers who must educate and protect them.
Female learners must have the same opportunities as their male counterparts and those who have fallen pregnant must not get left behind. The DA will fight to ensure that the rights of all our children are upheld.
Statement issued by Sonja Boshoff MP, DA Member of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, 3 August 2018