The state of Human Rights in our schools
A GROSS VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Amidst the flurry of well wishes and statements of victory in reminiscing over past injustices inflicted during the Apartheid era, the glaring plight of South Africa’s children remains overlooked and ignored.
We the teachers of NAPTOSA bear witness to our human rights and that of the learners under our care being violated daily.
Our hope for conducive and safe working environments are continually dashed by the under-performance and constant delays in service delivery by the officials of education departments. We have tried to keep hope alive and engage with the departments but our cries have been ignored. We are ignored whilst the situation continues to deteriorate.
‘This is a gross violation of our rights and those of the most vulnerable, the children’, said Mr Ntantala. Teachers and learners are weary of laboring under deplorable infrastructure and safety conditions. ‘When will government start treating learners and teachers with the dignity they deserve?’ he asked.
Violence in our schools is rampant. Hardly a day goes by without reports of teacher on learner, learner on learner or learner on teacher violence. Whilst education departments (Gauteng in particular) are often quick to react where teachers are alleged to be the perpetrators, the same cannot be said where teachers are the victims. ‘Gangsterism in the Western Cape has become another major safety factor in our schools, but despite all these threats, school safety still does not appear to be a priority to education departments’, said Mr Ntantala.
In most provinces, the conditions that teaching and learning are subjected to, are deplorable.
Despite high court rulings and a promise by the national department to have schooling infrastructure targets met by November 2016 we still see lack of water and proper sanitation in some schools, poorly ventilated prefab containers for classrooms, broken chairs and desks and the threat to the health of learners and teachers due to hazardous asbestos facilities, especially in the Eastern Cape.