TEACHER trade unions have expressed anger over revelations that educators demand sex from female learners in return for better marks in the Vhembe region, Limpopo.
This follows a survey on sexual violence done in schools by the Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment
Programme (TVEP) in the region. It was found that 129 learners were proposed for sex by teachers last year.
This year alone, 25 learners disclosed that teachers made sexual advances on them. It was also found that 45 cases of rape are reported every month in the region, and one in every nine learners is a victim.
Chairperson of the Professional Educators Union (PEU) Klass Mohlatlole said such incidents have
become a norm particularly in rural schools where there was a high rate of pregnancy. Some of the young girls are impregnated by teachers.
“I don’t know what our teachers are drinking or eating that has caused them to be monsters to our children. SACE [South African Educators Council] is intervening on this matter and it should come down heavily on those teachers that has made it a norm to ask for sexual favours from our learners in return for good marks. “If a teacher is behaving in that manner, he should immediately be rooted out of the system so that the image of the teachers should not be dragged through the mud,” Mohlatlole said.
SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) national general secretary Mugwena Maluleke called upon its members to establish facts, and if any of those teachers involved in the dastardly act are members of the union, drastic actions should be taken against them.
“Our education needs to empower our girl learners who grow up in this society to know that men
have no power over their bodies. Their bodies are not a commodity to be used to buy marks, buy lunch or have a hair-do,” he said.
TVEP’s Fiona Nicholson said: “There is a problem with girls trying to use their bodies to get better
marks. Regardless of how learners may seduce educators in return of better marks, its always the educators’ fault because they are adults, they should know how to handle learners without agreeing to sleep with them for marks.”
She said most cases were under-reported because learners were afraid of being victimised and
some of them were bribed by the perpetrators.
The provincial department of education spokesperson Dr Naledzani Rasila said authorities
were aware of the survey conducted by TVEP.
“The study done by the NGO has reached our ears but it must not be made to sound as if all the teachers in all the schools are involved as we have many dedicated educators. Those implicated in such allegations should be dealt with. “Teachers are parents and they are professionals. We expect them to guide the learners and not to lead them in wrong directions,” he said.
Rasila said the department will conduct its own investigation to get to the root of the matter and
measures will be taken against those implicated.