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Monday, January 25, 2021
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South Africa: Teachers demand protection

Kamogelo Senna

Student teachers from North West University in Mahikeng marched against the killing and abuse of teachers by pupils on Thursday.

Joined by many community members and teachers from local schools, they called for protection.

They started at the university and proceeded to the North West Department of Education offices.

Amogelang Mokanyane, co-ordinator of the safety awareness campaign at schools, said they needed a police presence in schools during working hours. They also wanted pupils’ rights to be limited.

One of the organisers Paseka Molete, who is an education student, said they were taking action with heavy hearts.

This comes after many incidents of teachers being abused, attacked and killed by pupils in schools.

In the latest incident, teacher Gadimang Mokolobate was stabbed and killed by a 17-year-old pupil who is now in a place of safety.

“We are the most discouraged, yet expected to be motivated. We wrote this memorandum with tears because of the reluctance of those who are supposed to protect us.”

The marchers asked for harsh sentences and action against pupils who abuse teachers.

They said searches must be conducted and school governing bodies needed more power to run schools with teachers and to develop their own disciplinary measures.

They said the SA Council of Educators should not act only when it teachers were in the wrong.

They also wanted social workers and psychologists employed at schools to help troubled kids.

North West MEC for Education, Sello Lehari, accepted their memorandum and promised to respond.

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