Teachers warned against pursuing relationships with pupils
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Education activist Hendrick Makaneta cautioned teachers from dating school pupils. This follows Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s threat to work around the clock to expose such teachers.
“It is not only disgusting but it is also unlawful for teachers to have sex with learners even if the learner stays in a faraway province. There is an unbecoming tendency of some teachers who think that, just because they are somewhere on holiday in a place far from their school, they are free to do whatever they want.
“If a teacher meets a beautiful girl on a weekend somewhere in another province, it is the duty of the teacher to verify if the girl is still a learner or not, to avoid harsh punishment from the authorities.” Makaneta said.
The education expert and activist stressed that it did not matter whether the pupil was attending a school in another province, but it remained a failure of conduct to pursue a relationship as a teacher with a pupil.
“A teacher remains a teacher even during school holidays. In fact, a teacher must remain a teacher for life,’ he said.
Makaneta said teachers should behave a certain way in the communities that they are in. That they should set an example and respect the profession in which they are in.
“A teacher cannot just drink and sleep on the streets, just because it is school holidays.”
He urged members of the public to report unbecoming conduct from teachers who “forget that they should be role models”.
“It is because of ill disciplined teachers who engage in sexual activities with pupils that the teaching profession is now undermined.
“As activists in the terrain of education, we will not be able to protect teachers who sleep with learners. It does not matter whether the learner is no longer a minor or whether the girl stays somewhere in a faraway place.” Makaneta said.
He also spoke on the issue of young teachers who are coming into the industry to be careful as their ages are in close proximity to those of the pupils.
We call on the South African Council for Educators to fasten their seatbelts and be on the lookout for teachers who targets learners for pleasure.
“Because of their age proximity to learners, at times young male teachers may develop affection to schoolgirls but we want to caution them to always remember that even though they are young teachers, they must behave like parents of learners as expected by the legal duty of care,” he said.