Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has said it is important for teachers not to inadvertently mistreat pupils.
This after a viral video showed a teacher forcefully combing the hair of pupils at a school in Gauteng.
According to the Gauteng Department of Education, the incident happened at Fundulwazi Secondary School in Sedibeng West.
The female teacher in the video is seen roughly combing the hair of a male pupil who is bending. She is heard shouting “next”, calling out another pupil and questioning where his comb was.
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi had retweeted the video, calling for it to be verified.
Gauteng education department spokesperson Steve Mabona said officials visited the school on Tuesday to get more details on the incident, as an investigation got underway.
In a statement on Wednesday, Motshekga said: “While the incident is unfortunate, it is critical to ensure that the school’s Code of Conduct as specified in the South African Schools Act is adhered to at all times, but also that teachers do not inadvertently mistreat learners.”
She added in terms of section 8 (4) of the act, every school had a binding Code of Conduct for both pupils and teachers, saying Lesufi’s department was probing the incident.
Motshekga said the department had clear guidelines regarding a school’s Code of Conduct for both teachers and pupils.
“The school governing body of this particular school, as our trusted stakeholder representing parents, will take part in dealing with the matter. We await the outcomes of the investigations by the Gauteng MEC of education regarding this matter,” she added. The video has left social media users divided, with some viewing it as the teacher disciplining the pupils, while others argued it was humiliating.