Assault, abscondment rife in Cape education
Assault and abscondment are the two charges most frequently brought against Western Cape teachers and education department employees.
The Cape Argus reported today that between April last year and March there were 104 departmental hearings involving alleged attempted or threatened assault in the province.
Department spokesperson Paddy Atwell said the assault charges normally involved corporal punishment.
In the same period, there were 30 hearings for abscondment.
The figures formed part of the department’s 2011/12 annual report, which revealed that 285 misconduct and disciplinary hearings had been finalised.
Of these, 25 related to sexual assault of a pupil, 17 to improper, disgraceful and unacceptable conduct, and 13 to unlawful industrial action.
According to the report, 83 employees were fired or deserted their posts over the year.
Atwell told the newspaper that while the number of cases was concerning, it reflected the department’s success at investigating, prosecuting and reporting offenders.