MEC Lesufi concerned about assault of educators by learners at schools

The department is deeply concerned about the assault on school staff members by learners.

Schools are meant to be a conducive environment for teaching and learning, therefore it is disappointing that staff members are being physically assaulted and/or threatened by learners.

These incidents of learner misconduct undermine the authority of educators.

In 2014, ten cases were reported to the department, while twenty-six were reported in 2015 and twenty-one in 2016.

Johannesburg East accounted for a high number of assault cases, with seven cases in 2014, five in 2015 and four in 2016. Johannesburg North is second, with one case reported in 2014, three in 2015 and five in 2016.

The department has a policy of zero-tolerance to bullying or any form of misconduct.

Anyone found to be transgressing this policy is dealt with in line with South African Schools Act (SASA), which governs all schools.

Learners found guilty of misconduct are rehabilitated, and can be re-instated after successful completion of a diversion programme. In 2015, out of a total of 26 learners facing serious misconduct, 14 were expelled, while 12 were re-instated.

Cases of bullying are acted on immediately and parents are informed of the incident, while the perpetrators go through disciplinary processes where appropriate sanction or expulsion is recommended to the Head of Department. Psychosocial support is provided to both victims and perpetrators.

This information was revealed in a parliamentary response by Angie Motshekga MP Minister of Basic Education. This information was provided to the Minister by the Gauteng Department of Education.

We urge learners to abide by the school code of conduct and for teachers to execute their constitutional mandate with the high level of professionalism at all times, and refrain from any acts of misconduct.

We have urged all schools to enforce their codes of conduct to deal with bullying and other disciplinary matters.

The department strongly condemns any misdemeanor in schools, which could lead to serious action being taken against learners or educators.

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.

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Gauteng Department of Education

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