Teachers in the Western Cape are cracking the whip – 222 teachers have been found guilty of corporal punishment in the last year.
That is the statistic provided by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) for the 2015/16 financial year.
Spokesman Paddy Attwell tells the Cape Argus the WCED found there was no grounds to press charges in a further 205 cases.
“Teachers were found guilty in 222 cases, while 74 cases were still pending by the end of the financial year [March 31],” Attwell says.
Beating kinders in the classroom is illegal in terms of the South African Schools Act, 501.
Attwell says if teachers are lashing out at kids, they’ll have to face the music themselves
“[The punishment is] a final written warning, coupled with a fine or suspension, and dismissal in serious cases of assault,” says Attwell.
SA Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) Provincial Secretary Jonavon Rustin says: “The union has made it clear that this is something we can never condone.
“I think the department can place more focus on helping teachers to positively deal with the behaviour of learners,” Rustin adds.
But Attwell says heavy-handed teachers is not a big problem in the province, making up only 4.5 percent of total cases in SA .
He says: “Stats SA figures for these provinces are as follows: Eastern Cape: 30.3 percent, KwaZulu-Natal: 21.4 percent, Free State: 18.4 percent, Mpumalanga: 11.5 percent, Gauteng: 4.6 percent and Western Cape: 4.5 percent.”