Seminar focuses on teacher safety in schools

Pretoria – Violence should not be part of the teaching profession and if bullying and violence in schools continues more teachers will leave the profession or risk being killed.

This was said by John Maluleke, of the South African Democratic Teachers Union yesterday at the launch of a seminar on Teachers Rights, Responsibilities and Safety Campaign, hosted by the South African Council for Educators (Sace) in Centurion.

The launch aimed raised awareness on enforcing teachers’ rights, responsibilities and safety. It was hosted amid fears of attacks directed at teachers from both learners and parents.

The launch, which was themed “The rights to education mean the rights to safe teaching environment” was aimed at concientising both teachers and broader society on rights and responsibilities of teachers and most importantly ensuring that teachers are safe at all times.

Officials from the Department of Basic Education and stakeholders joined in on the call to safeguard teacher rights.

Maluleke said teachers were more likely to be assaulted at work compared to other professions.

Maluleke said: “When teachers show up for work they should not be worried about whether a learner will hurt them, violence should never be part of the job.”

He said workplace violence prevention for teachers and a support legislation was on the cards, the legislation aimed to develop protection measures and enforceable safety standards for teachers and support personnel.

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Speaking on behalf of Sace, chief executive Ella Mokgalane, said the council has noticed the trend of parents assaulting and harassing teachers.

The programme will later be rolled out to all nine provinces, where Sace will be working in partnership with all teacher unions, school governing bodies, provincial departments of education and other relevant stakeholders in education.

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