Newsletter 124 - Teenage Pregnancy & Corporal Punishment


Have you seen the latest spate of videos of corporal punishment against learners? Is there a link between this and an earlier article on violence against teachers perpetrated by learners? Then there are the radio comments on teenage pregnancy at a school in the Northern Cape!

Corporal punishment must stop! Sex between teachers, departmental officials and learners must stop!

The Times Live reported that the KwaZulu-Natal department of education is planning "harsh action" against a teacher who is seen caning female pupils in a video circulating on social media. KZN education department's Kwazi Mthethwa confirmed that shortly after the video circulated they were able to identify the teacher from Umdlamfe Secondary School in Esikhawini‚ Richards Bay.

"We will be taking harsh action against the perpetrator. We want to send a clear message that corporal punishment will not be tolerated in our schools and learning facilities." He said a district official had visited the school. In the video‚ which appears to be filmed by a pupil‚ a girl is heard screaming and crying as she is hit repeatedly with a cane. The rest of the class watches the abuse‚ with some openly laughing‚ while another pupil is writing on the chalkboard.” The teacher then moves to another female pupil standing near the door and grabs her.

The teen puts up a battle to evade him and the two struggle. He pulls at her jersey and she shrugs him off in an attempt to get away but he grabs her. The pupil pushes at him and the enraged teacher then lashes out repeatedly at her. The girl screams and eventually manages to leave the classroom still crying loudly.

Child-line states that Corporal Punishment is “when physical punishment is handed down to someone from a teacher or parent. For example it is when you are smacked or hit as a form of punishment. According to our law, corporal punishment in schools is not allowed. However, getting a smack at home is not against the law (although steps are being taken to stop this too). This does not mean that your parents are allowed to hit you senseless and get away with it. If your parents did continuously hit you as a form of punishment, it would be considered abusive”

In 2009 the DBE reported to parliament about the scourge of teenage Pregnancy amongst school learners, and in SA generally

The Human Sciences Research Council’s teenage pregnancy report was released on 28 August 2009, based on a study it had conducted on behalf of the Department of Education. A COPY OF THE REPORT CAN BE FOUND ON THE RESOURCES TAB. Most teen pregnancies happened between the ages of seventeen and nineteen. The rise in learner pregnancy was most likely the result of improved reporting rather than a real increase. Learner pregnancy rates were higher in schools located in poor areas and in schools that were poorly resourced.

TNA reported The Northern Cape Department of Education has undertaken investigations at Bothitung High School in Kuruman where several learners were reported to have been pregnant. According to reports, about 30 learners were pregnant, with some allegedly impregnated by teachers at the school. Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe reportedly confirmed that action will be taken against the teachers who would be found implicated in this matter.

“Teachers implicated in this matter will be placed on precautionary suspension,” he said. However, the department could not confirm the number of the affected learners as reported. The students are alleged to be receiving stipends in exchange of sexual favors with these teachers. The incident came to light on Wednesday when a radio station reported that the school had 30 pregnant learners, three amongst them alleged impregnated by a single teacher.

The SABC earlier reported that all 3000 North West girls at the impoverished Ratlou-municipality outside Mahikeng, who dropped-out of school due to being pregnant, will be taken back to schools in the next two weeks. The girls were allegedly impregnated by older men.

Amongst them were under aged girls, including an 11 year-old who has already given birth.

“We want to identify those learners that have dropped-out of school. We are working with those schools to ensure that all learners that have dropped out of school due to teenage pregnancy, they come back to school. We are working with Social Development to ensure that, as kids, they are being taken care of when they are back to school. We are working with Department of Health to ensure that they prevent teenage pregnancy” says Poppy Diale of the North West Department of Education.

Following link on Teacher Learner Care (TLC) and read the newsletter at resources.



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