Teachers fear falling victim to increasing levels of ill-discipline

North West teacher Gadimang Daniel Mokolobate was allegedly stabbed by a pupil at school.

North West teacher Gadimang Daniel Mokolobate was allegedly stabbed by a pupil at school.

Published Oct 5, 2018


Durban - A young female student teacher, who has witnessed pupils violently fighting among themselves on the school grounds, is concerned about her safety.

Another teacher, with 20 years of experience, has admitted that being at school every day was a challenge, while a third added that pupils don’t think twice about testing their (teachers’) limits.

Videos circulating on social media of teachers being shoved and pushed, or having an exercise book hurled at them in the classroom have intensified their concerns.

So too has recent news of a pupil allegedly stabbing his 24-year-old teacher to death in Zeerust, North West.

“When I read about the teacher who was stabbed in a classroom, my heart sank. Where is the respect? Where have our values and morals gone? What sort of youth are we raising?” questioned a Chatsworth high school teacher, who did not want to be named.

“It appears that pupils have free rein to do what they please, because there are little or no consequences for their actions.

“Some sort of corporal punishment must be enforced at schools to restore order. As teachers, we walk on eggshells.

“Even if we try to discipline pupils, it backfires on us,” added a Phoenix secondary school teacher.

A Verulam student teacher hopes the Department of Education will re-look its policy on corporal punishment.

“Many of the violent outbursts and ill discipline often stem from issues in the home. I have seen pupils violently fight among themselves. I can only imagine what they would do in a confrontation with a teacher.”

An Isipingo teacher added that children come from all sorts of backgrounds and have their own issues.

“They seem to act out their issues in the form of violence. These deep-seated issues need to be addressed with the Department of Social Development.”

As teachers, they had to remain calm at all times, she said, adding “that is the biggest challenge”.

Although corporal punishment of pupils was banned in South African schools in 1996, in a shocking turn of events many teachers have been at the receiving end of physical and emotional violence, with the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga recently saying the department would work closely with the police to curb violence in schools.


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