Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Monday the attack of a teacher by a pupil at Three Rivers Secondary School in Sedibeng last Friday was an isolated incident as the school’s governing body, leadership and the parents of the concerned pupil confirmed the school did not have an issue of ill-discipline among the pupils.
The province’s department of education initiated an investigation last week to look into the circumstances surrounding the incident of a pupil who was filmed throwing a book at a teacher. The video went viral on social media.
Lesufi, who visited the school today, said the pupil was driven to attack the teacher because she had been anxious about writing a test immediately after the lesson when the attack took place.
“Because it was a double period, immediately after that period she was supposed to write a Business Economics test, and she was ill-prepared for that test, and she wanted to take advantage of the double period to prepare for the test,” Lusufi said.
However, he said the teacher wanted the pupil concerned to concentrate on the lesson, which resulted in the altercation.
He said he visited the school this morning to ensure the disciplinary process gets under way without any further delay.
“It is very important to reassure teachers that they remain the champions of the classroom because if the teacher is not in charge of that classroom then there is no education system.
“So the teachers must not be afraid to act on the basis that they are afraid that the department will be harsh on them, we are saying to them, you are in charge of that classroom and that classroom must be led by you as a teacher,” he said.
Lesufi said the school continued to function normally as well as today and that the teacher concerned was in the classroom teaching.
“She is not somebody that said I need the day off and the teacher confirmed that this child is not necessarily a bully … it is an incident which they felt it could have been managed differently,” the MEC said.