NAPTOSA STATEMENT ON DEATH OF PUPIL, SCHOOL VIOLENCE AND POLICY DEFICIENCIES: 16 MARCH 2018
Another bleak and blemished day on the South African education system calendar has left NAPTOSA outraged, disappointed and saddened.
Death of a pupil as a result of poor infrastructure, violence in schools, absence of teachers from class rooms and deficient policies at school level, all in one day, is nearly too much to bear.
NAPTOSA has for many years been critical of the slow pace of infrastructure improvements and renewal in schools, especially in the areas of sanitation, water and electricity. We are therefore saddened to learn of the death of a pupil in a pit latrine in the Eastern Cape. Our commiserations to the parents of the pupil. NAPTOSA once again calls on the Department of Basic Education to fast-track the elimination of these latrines from all the schools where they are still in use.
The violence between learners of a school in Eldorado, witnessed on social media, is also strongly condemned by NAPTOSA. What makes it worse is that the incident was exacerbated by the absence of teachers who were on strike on the day. This is totally unacceptable.
On top of this we had the sickening report of the alleged sexual abuse of learners by the police official who was supposed to prepare them for the trial of the person who had abused them at school. Can things become worse?
NAPTOSA has, through written correspondence, raised the issue of safety in schools for learners and teachers with the Department of Basic Education, because it is not only learners who suffer at the hands of school violence, but also our teachers. Unfortunately, we have not had the courtesy of a reply from the Department. We trust that these new incidents will prompt the Department to give this matter its undivided and urgent attention.
NAPTOSA also took cognizance of a court judgement yesterday of the reinstatement of a pupil in Limpopo who had been expelled due to a hair issue, where there seems once again to be a lack of policy on the issue. One would have thought that in the light of previous cases in this regard, education departments would by now have ensured that all schools have policies in place to deal with such matters. NAPTOSA calls on the Department of Education in Limpopo to ensure that this is done.