Navalsig teachers targeted by aggressive learners

Howard Ndaba

The Free State Department of Education has in the past two weeks became aware of incidents where more than five teachers were either verbally abused or physically assaulted by learners at Navalsig High School in Bloemfontein.

Spokesperson of the department, Howard Ndaba, says “We received information that in a space of two weeks, about five teachers or more were allegedly assaulted by learners at Navalsig High School.”

Ndaba says the alleged assaults range from verbal to physical and some of the learners have already been summoned to a disciplinary hearing, while some have already been found guilty of the allegations against them.

He says the department visited the school on Wednesday and met with the learners, the representative council of learners (RCL) as well as the school management.

“We have spoken to the learners and they responded positively.” He says the department is scheduled to meet the parents of learners at the school next week Tuesday. Ndaba says the department is concerned about the high levels of ill-discipline at the school. He also adds that an administrator has been placed at the school to assess the situation.

A new support structure has also been established and the school’s circuit manager will be providing assistance to the school headmaster in this regard. The department will also be working with the South African Police Services to maintain order levels at the school.

“We want to frown upon what has happened. We want our teachers to be safe, our learners to be safe and ensure that schools are centers of learning, not war zones,” Ndaba said.

While Ndaba did not divulge the circumstances which led to these alleged incidences of violence, he says the alleged violent episodes range from a teacher being pushed violently by a learner, while in another incident a learner verbally abuses the teacher. In another incident a teacher’s hand was slapped by a learner, which led to a minor altercation between the learner and the teacher. “These are the various incidents which happened on different days, but what is key to us is that this should not have happened in our schools.” MEC Tate Makgoe took to his Twitter page to condemn the alleged incidents on Wednesday