The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) says the scourge of violence at schools can be partially attributed to the negative attitude in our communities towards educators.

The union’s general secretary Mugwena Maluleke says children emulate what they see and hear at home and bring it to school premises.

Maluleke was speaking at the schools safety summit in Pretoria.

Safety at schools has recently come under scrutiny with teachers being attacked by learners, one fatally.

Maluleka says it’s important for society to begin valuing the work of teachers.

“What research tells us is that our learners, our own children have disregard for their teachers. Because the headline says these useless teachers, somebody says teachers earn a lot of money, they are so lazy, they are useless, and they are not doing anything.”

“Our children hear us say those things, and disregard those teachers who are doing their best to make sure that they experience life. They swear at us because the community swears at us. The community does not see our importance as teachers,” adds Maluleka.

Meanwhile, the Council for Quality Assurance in Education and Training, Umalusi, says it has stricter measures in place to ensure the integrity of this year’s national senior certificate.

Almost 800 000 matriculants are preparing for their final exams, which are scheduled to begin on Monday – kicking off with Computer Application Technology Paper 1 – and will end on November the 28th.

Umalusi has pleaded with communities to refrain from participating in activities which could disrupt the exams.

Umalusi CEO Mafu Rakometsi says, “Centres have been involved in group copying, where there is a high level of learners using crib notes. We also have some schools opening question papers before the scheduled time. It is becoming high risk and one of the irregularities that we are talking about.”

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