Respect school code of conduct, Motshekga tells teachers and pupils after viral hair video
Johannesburg - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has urged schools to enforce their codes of conduct in the wake of a viral video which saw a teacher forcefully combing the hair of pupils with uncombed hair at a school gate.
But in doing so, Motshekga said pupils and teachers had a responsibility and an obligation to abide with the code of conduct.
Motshekga said the Gauteng Education had taken the correct steps in investigating the matter and expressed “concern” in the manner that the teacher had forcefully combed the pupil’s uncombed hair.
“While the incident is unfortunate, it is critical to ensure that the School’s Code of Conduct as specified in the South African Schools Act is adhered to at all times, but also that teachers do not inadvertently mistreat learners.
“In terms of the South African Schools Act, Section 8 (4) every school has a binding Code of Conduct for both learners and teachers, and therefore, it is a correct step for the Gauteng Education MEC to have started a prompt investigation into the matter recorded on video.
“The Department of Basic Education has clear guidelines regarding Schools Code of Conduct for both teachers and learners.
“The School Governing Body of this particular school, as our trusted stakeholder representing parents will take part in dealing with the matter,” said Motshekga.
She said the DBE would await the outcomes of the investigation launched by Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Tuesday.
Lesufi ordered the probe to investigate and verify a viral video that showcases a teacher forcefully combing the hair of young boys as they enter the school premises.
The school has not yet been identified.
Lesufi in response to the video said: “This is completely unacceptable”.
Schools’ codes of conduct routinely stipulate that hair should be kept neat and tidy.
But in recent years, the issue of hair and schools has become a sensitive subject after Pretoria High School for Girls was rocked by fierce protests after black girls were not allowed to wear their Afros.
The incident left Twitter divided, as some sided with the teacher enforcing the code of conduct, while others said pupils should be left to wear their natural hair as is.