File photo: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

EAST LONDON - The Eastern Cape has been rocked by an apparent increase in the number of members from the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) being attacked by learners at schools, the union said on Friday.

The union's provincial secretary Chris Mdingi, said the latest victim was the principal of a high school in Mt Frere who was attacked a week ago and suffered a big gash to the forehead on top of his left eye. 

"We say our teachers should not be charged [as] long [as] there is no discipline and no disciplinary actions taken against learners who continue to assault and violate the rights of teachers in schools,” said Mdingi.

Mdingi said they viewed this as "extremely serious" especially at this time of the year when the same learners are preparing for their final examinations. 

“Such low levels of discipline portrayed by these learners, to the point of injuring our member, cannot be tolerated. We call upon the department of education to exercise enough vigilance in dealing with this matter so as to ensure that the situation at the school is monitored in pursuit of quality public education.”

He called on the department and relevant stakeholders to intervene as a matter of "extreme urgency" because any assault against a teacher would be regarded as a declaration of war on the union, adding that they would be "very intolerant" of occurrences of this nature.

Eastern Cape education spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima, said they were currently resolving the matter and that the School Governing Body was calling for the involved learners to be suspended. 

African News Agency (ANA)