Pupils' discipline should not only be left to teachers

Teacher filmed disciplining a child in class
Teacher filmed disciplining a child in class
Image: Yalo

Cellphone footage in which a pupil is seen assaulting a teacher receives thousands of hits on social media platforms.

In the video, a female learner can be seen getting up from her desk with a book in her hand and walking to the front of the class, where the teacher is standing and hitting the teacher with the book in an aggressive fit. The humiliated teacher walks away while the other learners laugh.

A week later, another video shows learners in another Gauteng school involved in a bitter fist fight.

The incident occurred during the time when some educators were on strike and as such learners were not under supervision.

So if everyone agrees that discipline is a key to safety in school, why do we still have a problem?

In my work as an MEC in the Gauteng government, I have met many parents who told me how they have brought up very lively children who have all grown up to be respectable, hard-working, decent and familial.

They explained how they brought them up very firm by laying down ground rules and teaching them things like respect for elders, not to be cheeky or insolent, respect for other people's views, decent morals and abiding by the law.

Discipline begins at home, is developed during one's childhood and becomes a habit that is practiced throughout life.

It is every parent's duty to inculcate discipline in their offspring.

Yes, some parents said they smacked their children when they did something wrong and explained to them why they should not do things which are wrong, destructive or dangerous.

As a result they had the balance of a firm upbringing with plenty of love and guidance.

Some of the ill-discipline we have seen and heard these days reinforces the idea that discipline should begin in the home and continue in schools.

Parents should never expect teachers or police to solve their problems. It is the parent's responsibility.

At school, by following the instructions of teachers and parents, learners can shape their futures easily. A learner should be studious - and through hard work achieve set goals.

A tradition of serving the community as a result of all-round discipline is introduced, making the most significant contribution to the learning world.

While playing a dominant role in imparting education, a school environment equipped with respected policies does much to promote discipline.

It is here where the love of learning and discipline is gained. It is here where the foundation is laid for children to grow up as true, responsible and disciplined citizens.

In school the spirit of discipline is manifested and exhibited in every activity and curriculum such as life orientation, home economics, sports, science, commerce and others, thus starting the route to personal growth and development.

In terms of the SA Schools Act (Sasa), it is the duty and responsibility of the school governing body (SGB) to develop and adopt a code of conduct for learners. Among others, Sasa empowers the SGB to:

For learners, discipline holds a great value for life and the fulfilment of goals.

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