Department will not enter row over teachers dress code

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The national Department of Education says it does not have a say in how teachers dress to school unless it negatively affects teaching and learning.

The SA Council for Educators this week indicated that the dress code of about 450000 teachers could be reviewed to ensure that they looked the part.

SACE says although the issue of indecent clothing by teachers at schools has not gone out of hand, there were reports of teachers who wear clothes that do not complement their profession.

Department spokesman Lunga Nqengelele said yesterday the department could not determine the dress code.

"SACE regulates issues concerning teachers. We don't have a say in the matter unless the issue affects teaching and learning."

SACE head Rej Brijraj said meetings would be held at the end of the year to consider the present dress code and draw up guidelines.

Pupils at Zwelibanzi in Umlazi went on strike for two weeks recently demanding that female teachers stop wearing pants to school.

A meeting between the pupils, residents, teachers and department officials resolved to investigate the concerns.

Although the investigation is under way, the pupils say they are determined to have the issue of female teachers wearing pants at school resolved. They claim that wearing pants impacted negatively on learning.

Congress of South African Students chairman Sboniso Nkontwana said pupils remained unhappy and had not been told of the progress of the investigation.

"Pupils are sexually active and tend to have their desire aroused by seeing a teacher in front of them wearing tight jeans."

The SA Democratic Teachers Union said it had been waiting for years for the department to introduce a dress code.

Sadtu secretary Sipho Nkosi said they were not aware of a teacher who dresses inappropriately to school but felt a dress code was needed.

The National Teachers Union said teachers should not be told what they should or should not wear.