NPA and department of basic education partner up to fight sexual abuse in schools

Johannesburg- The shocking numbers of teenagers who fell pregnant this year, where many of them were also victims of offences, has resulted in the National Prosecuting Authority in KwaZulu-Natal and the Department of Education teaming up to tackle the problem head on.

The NPA said in statement that they together with the Sexual Offences and Community Affairs (SOCA) Unit, hosted a capacity building workshop for DoE officials and school governing body representatives in the uMkhanyakude district of KwaZulu-Natal.

The purpose of the session was to equip them with information which will enable them to spot potential issues experienced by learners. “The thinking is that educators are the ones that set the foundation for learners. Due to the amount of time that they spend with learners, they are able to notice signs that the learner may be experiencing personal problems or even problems at home,” reads the statement.

Topics that were discussed include Trafficking in Persons, Blessers and Blessees, Domestic Violence- Protection Orders and the various types of domestic violence, Bullying, and Sexual Offences- in particular teenage pregnancies.

The Department of Social Development was also present to discuss psycho-social intervention. Prosecutors reminded Educators of their obligation to report abuse, neglect and exploitation that they may encounter. They were also told to look deeper into “bad/ unusual behavior” s displayed by learners as this could be indicative of a larger issues.

The NPA said they will hold monthly meetings with the DOE officials and that officials from the Department of Health officials would also be present with their statistics in terms of termination of pregnancies. These information sessions will, according to the statement, continue into 2022, and will cover various districts.

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