Gone are those days when school was a place where parents could call a second home for their children. Apart from imparting academic excellence, school was an environment where children were taught norms and social skills; and would prepare them for the future.
Nowadays, we happen to read more about the dangers of being in a school premises. In most cases, we learn about children bringing dangerous weapons and being involved in heart tearing fights that can cost a life. These stories often go viral on social media platforms, pupils are seen fighting with their peers and teachers; this is a shame to our future generations.
The hundreds of child abuse cases reported at our community school grounds are not just student-on-student attacks, which unfortunately are all common in our local schools, but also illegal and alarming interactions between teachers and pupils. Teachers are supposed to be those trusted authority figures, but today they happen to use their status to abuse our vulnerable future leaders physically and psychologically.
Nowadays teachers take place of loco parentis, the moment whereby a child drop out of school, back then a teacher was the most trusted guardian with the welfare of children throughout their childhood, a watchful protector who would let no harm to any individual.
However, the upsurge in case involving teachers abusing school children has left everyone wondering what has happened to the noble and wise professionals that was highly respected in so much high esteem. In most cases teachers are found involved in sexual relationships with pupils, however this kind of commonest form of abuse that generally target our girls described as statutory rape seem to be going on everyday; and at this point, this actual effect means that these vulnerable children cannot defend themselves when faced with such aggressive force nor speak out because of their culture of silence.
South Africa let’s join hands and fight this kind of abuse as schools keep our children out of the streets, out of trouble and far from experimentation and curiosity grasp when they are in class than wondering about the streets aimlessly. Each year we sing about the issues affecting women and children, but no action is taken to help better the situations. The safety of our children should be every citizen’s responsibility, whether it’s your biological child or not.
Article by: Winny Shokane