Parliamentarians have heard of an emerging trend of the sexual abuse of high school boys by female teachers.
The concern has been raised by the South African Council for Educators and has been highlighted during a sexual harassment and gender-based violence briefing to the Basic Education committee.
The committee heard how the Basic Education Department was addressing the issues through the provision of comprehensive sexuality education, which included access to sexual and reproductive health services for secondary schools as well as support and awareness drives for younger learners.
The Basic Education Department said that provincial education departments had reported 275 cases of sexual misconduct in the financial years between 2019 and 2021. In the first quarter of this financial year, the South African Council for Educators received 132 complaints of a similar nature.
The council has informed Parliament’s Basic Education committee that in the past five years, the most commonly reported sexual offences between educators and learners were sexual harassment, abuse, assault, rape and improper and sexual relationships.
This includes sexual-related gender-based violence, with the participants generally being male teachers-on-female learners, male teachers-on-female teachers and male teachers-on-male learners, which is prevalent in single-sex schools.
Learners at special schools have also been taken advantage of and it’s reported an emerging trend in the abuse of high school boys by female teachers.
Following guilty verdicts, the council ensures perpetrators’ names are struck off the register of educators so they can be blocked on the public servant verification system.