The Department of Basic Education, in March 2019, issued a “Protocol for the Management and Reporting of Sexual Abuse and Harassment in Schools”.
NAPTOSA supports the Protocol because it standardises the response to allegations by learners of incidents of sexual abuse and harassment and gives clarity to the various role players on their roles and responsibilities. Whether the practical implementation will be all that easy, remains to be seen.
Successful implementation of the Protocol will be dependent on how well the role players are equipped in terms of what is expected of them. Propagating the contents of the Protocol is assigned to inter alia Principals, Districts and Provincial Education Departments. Whether educators have received any information and training in this regard is not clear.
In view of the fact that the Protocol provides for disciplinary action against educators, Principals, SGB and SMT members, as well as other school staff, who fail to adhere to the Protocol, it is important that members familiarise themselves with the contents of the Protocol as soon as possible. NAPTOSA has therefore uploaded the Protocol to its website, to be found under “Announcements” on the home page. For those members who are unable to access the Protocol from the website, NAPTOSA’s provincial offices will carry a copy from where it can be accessed.