Mayor concerned about learner pregnancy numbers

Community News

Three foreign educators have been implicated and two of them arrested in the pregnancy debacle at Bothithong High School in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district of the Northern Cape.
Initially the number of pregnancies was inflated to thirty, but after thorough consu-ltations were done at the school, the figure dwindled to sixteen with the exactness still not rigid enough.
There are conflicting facts revolving around the time frames. The total numbers could be over a certain period dating from 2015 where some learners said that they had been impregnated by their fellow learners - a common phenomenon and an estrangement from teachers who play a pi-votal role in a learner's destined model.
The Joe Morolong local municipality Ma-yor Councillor Dineo Leutlwetse has con-demned the abuse of the school girls at Bo-thithong High School who were allegedly impregnated by their male school teachers.
During her visit on 31 August 2017 at the school the mayor and her delegation re-ceived a different version from the school. “We just found out that only 16 students had been impregnated and not by school teach-ers”. She added that the matter is still under investigation and hoped the police will do all they can to ensure they get to the bottom of the story and find out what transpired be-tween the school children and the accused teachers.
She urged members of the public, inclu-ding families, and non-governmental orga-nisations to report incidents of abuse and to demonstrate values of a child friendly society.
“I urge you to report any suspicion or inci-dents of child abuse, neglect, child poverty, child labour, the use of children as sex slaves, sex workers, as well as the use of children as drug smugglers. Our children deserve better. They must be afforded the opportunity of decent living and decent edu-cation in schools," she said.
Further investigations are underway to establish the extent of abuse of learners by educators. This moral mischief is not only confined to this school, region or province alone, but a perennial national challenge that needs a revisit in the legislature go-verning and enabling learning environ-ments for learners. Educators must look at learners as children not as bees to nectar.
There has been a lot of street talk in town during the past week and views of objectivi-ty and validity were raised. However a teacher is the centre of discipline that ought to be illustriously endowed with self-control.
Meanwhile, the initial news that 30 learners from the Bothithong High School had been impregnated by teachers, left the Northern Cape Department of Education in utter shock and disbelief.
The department immediately dispatched
an experienced team of investigators to the school to investigate the allegations, to pro-vide sufficient information to assess and in-form decisions to be made in relation to in-voking disciplinary processes against im-plicated educators and to provide counsel-ing to the affected learners and staff.
The investigation revealed that there are no educators preliminary implicated in the impregnation of any learner, however the investigation did reveal that there are three educators implicated in allegedly making improper sexual advances towards learn-ers.
It has also been reported that two of the implicated educators have been arrested by the South African Police Services.
The suspension of the educators was done in terms of item 6 of the Schedule 2 of the Employment of Educators Act (Disciplinary Code for Educators).
The purpose of the suspension is to en-sure that the learners in question are pro-tected from possible further emotional and physical distress, to ensure that there is no tampering with witnesses and that the de-partment's name is not brought into disre-pute. Once the process of investigation is completed, the department will only then decide on any further action to be taken on this matter.
According to Safiyia Stanfley, the Demo-cratic Alliance provincial spokesperson on Education in the Northern Cape, the party  is outraged by the recent crisis at the Bothi-thong High School.
The party welcomed the investigations by  both the SAPS and the provincial Depart-ment of Education.
Ms Stanfley said that the DA will be hold-ing the MEC and her department to ac-count to ensure that there is a thorough in-vestigation, with the immediate implemen-tation of consequences for those who ab-use children.