Sexual mischief in schools up

SHOCKING incidents of sexual misconduct in schools - including teachers preying on primary schools pupils - have been reported to the South African Council of Educators

The council, which monitors ethics and conducts professional development of teachers, has also reported an increase in cases where teachers have been administering corporal punishment, including a case of a pupil in Western Cape whose spinal cord was damaged after an alleged assault outside of a school.

Presenting its annual report in Parliament yesterday, SACE said a total of 440 cases of gross misconduct involving teachers were reported between April 2010 and March 2011.

Among these was:

- one case of murder,

- 78 of  sexual misconduct including rape,

- 100 cases of corporal punishment,

- 135 cases of alcohol abuse, absenteeism and insubordination and

- 48 cases of fraud, theft and financial mismanagement.

The council said it had finalised 358 reported cases, transferring a large majority of them to other authorities such as the Department of Basic Education and the bargaining council for teachers.