The KwaZulu-Natal Democratic Alliance (DA) has asked for the suspension of a teacher accused of brutally assaulting a seven-year-old learner at Ottawa Primary School in Phoenix, north of Durban.
According to the DA’s education spokesperson, Imran Keeka, the child’s grandmother said the school asked learners to bring R10 to school for an unknown reason. The family could not afford to give the youngster the R10, so the teacher hit the child with a pipe.
Keeka states that, as terrible as the incident was, it is still prevalent in schools across the province and accuses MEC for Education Mbali Frazer of failing to take a stand against corporal punishment.
“Corporal punishment has been outlawed. Section 10 of the South African Schools Act is explicit in this regard and every teacher should know this”, says Keeka.
“To date, KZN’s Department of Education (DoE) has not taken any action against any educator recently found guilty of such action. This while we know that caning is still taking place in some of the province’s schools”, he adds.
The DA has requested that the teacher be suspended pending the outcome of police and internal investigations.
Keeka plans to write to the South African Council of Educators (SACE), the statutory council that registers educators, requesting that it conduct its own investigation into the situation.
“In the event that the teacher involved is found guilty, the book must be thrown at her for bullying and beating a young girl.”
“It has become the norm within KZN’s schools that when such horrific incidents take place, there are no suspensions that follow. This leaves alleged victims in the same space as the person accused of assaulting them. This is unacceptable”, he concludes.