Pupils allegedly paid R100 for sex

The Education Department has suspended six teachers from an Umlazi,
Durban, high school who allegedly had sexual relationships with their
pupils in exchange for money and alcohol.
KwaZulu-Natal Education Department head Cassius Lubisi said the six
teachers were suspended on Wednesday and the department was taking steps
to replace them with temporary educators while finalising an
investigation into their conduct.
The pupils concerned were receiving psychological support.
The department's Umlazi district director, Mlungisi Ntombela, said on
Tuesday that about 20 female pupils from the school had visited his
office on Friday and alleged that the six teachers regularly had sex
with girls in the school's science laboratory.
It was alleged that the girls were given R100 after performing the
sexual acts. The teachers allegedly also consumed alcohol with pupils at
the laboratory.
Salim Vally, of the Education Policy Unit based at the University of the
Witwatersrand, Joburg, said that while legislation regarding sexual
misconduct at schools was sufficient, understanding of the laws by
teachers was narrow.
"Policies are vital, but they are just words on paper. There must be
information and education campaigns on the issue, which doesn't seem to
be a priority for the education department. We need more campaigns. The
climate in which education takes place adds to the quality of
education," said Vally.
Allen Thompson, of the National Teachers' Union, said that while the
union did not condone teachers having sexual relations with pupils,
poverty also played a role in the issue. He said pupils should be
educated on how not to fall prey to teachers.
"You find that some teachers only learn that what they were doing was
illegal when they are in trouble. Why are such pieces of information not
included in the teachers' induction course?" he asked.
- summarised
* *This article was originally published on page 5 of **The Mercury*
<http://www.themercury.co.za/>* on April 30, 2009 *


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