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RULER   :   Archive   :   1999   :   ZA Schools Sep 1999


School CP - September 1999

Corpun file 4617

The Mail & Guardian, Johannesburg, 7 September 1999

Govt takes action against four teachers

By Barry Streek, Cape Town, Tuesday 6.30 pm

THE government is taking legal action against four teachers, including the principal, from a school in Mitchell's Plain, Cape Town, for refusing to stop using corporal punishment, Education Minister Kader Asmal said on Tuesday.

He also said five teachers who had been convicted of ordering pupils between the ages of eight and 14 to have sexual relations should be fired immediately.

Asmal told the Cape Town Press Club that he had been impressed by the commitment, industry and creativity of people in education, often despite very difficult conditions.

"Unfortunately, there are sometimes also serious lapses in probity. I have already served notice that I will not hesitate to invoke all the legal instruments available to ensure that such lapses in probity are effectively dealt with and forever purged from the system.

"I will make known my dissatisfaction to student and staff associations, and indeed to the public."

A parent had written to the Mitchell's Plain school asking the teachers to stop using corporal punishment as this was against the law. Two of the teachers said they would comply, but the other three and the principal had said: "Hump off." Corporal punishment was cruel and could never earn respect from pupils. Asmal also said he has informed provincial MECs that he intended to report quarterly to President Thabo Mbeki on the progress being made in improving education and training in South Africa.

He said he has instructed his senior officials to physically visit the provinces to acquaint themselves with problems and to emphasis the link between the national department of education with all levels of government in education.

Copyright, Daily Mail & Guardian, 1999.

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