Against a backdrop of increasing incidents of sexual violence in South Africans schools – perpetrated by both learners and educators – the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) met with the Basic Education Department (DBE) to address concerns over sexual harassment at schools.
The Commission’s Javu Baloyi said they wanted the DBE to explain their efforts to keep sex offenders out of the education system.
The Commission, which recently conducted site inspections at various schools across the country, found that pupils from Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal are more likely to fall victim to sexual crimes.
In its summation of sexual violence in schools across Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Northern Cape and North West, the CGE observed:
- An extremely high rate of sexual violence in schools across the country;
- Cases mentioned herein are only an indicator of the reality faced by multitude of learners and educators;
- High number of pregnancies as a result of inappropriate sexual behaviour which leads to girls being unable to complete their schooling;
- Sexual harassment perpetrated by educators against learners and amongst educators;
- Unsafe spaces in the school environment as the majority of these offences take place at school, even during school hours;
- Victims of sexual violence are both males and females.
“We’ve also realised some teachers who do these things move from one province to another. One teacher moved from Gauteng to Mpumalanga to another province, impregnating pupils,” said Baloyi.
Addressing teachers’ union Sadtu’s congress last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged teachers to stop initiating romantic and sexual relationships with pupils.