21/09/2017 13:03 SAST | Updated 21/09/2017 13:07 SAST

'I Blame The Parents And Society' -- Basic Education DG On Violence In Schools

"What we see in schools today, it is a general reflection of our society."

Upset teen and mother.
Upset teen and mother.

"Parents are no longer playing... their expected roles, very few of them respond to schools and help discipline the learners." These were the words of Director-General for Basic Education, Mathanzima Hubert Mweli, during an interview on 702 about escalating violence in schools.

Parents get absorbed in other things and "very few of them respond to the schools" he said.

"Schools are also social institutions, they reflect values that we aspire in civil society," he said. He continued: "I cannot agree more that what we see in schools today, it is a general reflection of our society."

Read: School Food Server Allegedly Beats Up Mentally Challenged Child

Mweli talked about corporal punishment and how protocols will be put in place to make teachers aware of the illegality of physical punishment.

"Corporal punishment is not only prohibited in schools but the Constitution of the country doesn't allow it," he said.

Earlier this month, Gauteng's department of education confirmed that a woman who was seen in a video assaulting a mentally disabled pupil had been suspended.

There has been a scourge of violence in South African schools lately. A video circulating on social media showed a teacher viciously assaulting a pupil in the classroom with a stick in KwaZulu-Natal.

In a separate incident, seven teachers were suspended for acts of sexual assault, rape and violence towards pupils in KwaZulu-Natal this month.

Read: 'Gang Rape' Latest In Scourge Of Teachers Abusing Pupils

Mweli acknowledged the MEC of Northen Cape for sacking teachers who allegedly impregnated learners.

Earlier last month, the SA Council for Educators (SACE) sought an urgent amendment to legislation to give it powers to publicly name and shame educators found guilty of offences, including rape and sexual misconduct.

"It is absolutely disgusting, this is assault and not corporal punishment. It is sheer assault. Can you imagine if it was your child getting beaten by a teacher?" South African Council of Educators' Thembinkosi Ndlovu told HuffPost SA.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi told News24 that educators had a responsibility to be role models.

"Our children cannot be afraid to go school in fear of sexual assaults by an educator. Such incidents are regrettable and must not be allowed to prevail in our schools," Lesufi was quoted as saying.