DA Gauteng shadow MEC for Education Khume Ramulifho and DA Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Training, Belinda Bozzoli visited Reiger Park Secondary School to assess the impact of the recent sex scandal on teaching and learning at the school.
The party conducted an oversight visit to the school on February 12 after three staff members and the now former principal of the school were implicated in the sex scandal.
Videos and pictures of the former principal engaged in sexual acts with pupils, teachers and support staff members recently went viral on various social media platforms.
Ramulifho said they have, during the oversight visit, found that the school is returning to normality and that it was receiving adequate assistance from the Gauteng Department of Education.
“This school is, however, facing a serious challenge of learners bunking classes and hiding in the nearby bushes, and this gives the impression that the school lacks discipline and leadership.
“The school lacks a competent leader that is capable of instilling discipline among both teachers and learners and creating a sense of security in the community.
“The DA believes that the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry to probe sexual abuse in Gauteng schools is the most effective solution to this serious problem.
“The Commission of Inquiry will ensure that we understand the nature and extent of this problem and its consequences such as teenage pregnancy, a high drop-out rate, underperformance and sexual assaults, to mention a few.
“It will also give the department a clear indication in terms of the support system that must be provided in schools to prevent issues of sexual abuse,” said Ramulifho.
Ramulifho said the DA will continue to put pressure on the premier, David Makhura, to ensure that a hot-line is established for learners to report sexual abuse in schools and for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry.
The principal implicated in the sex scandal is still not charged with any criminal offence because none of the learners and staff members have laid a complaint with the police against him.
The school’s acting principal Raymond Takana acknowledged that the school experienced difficulties because of the disruptions caused by the scandal during the first few days after the pictures and videos became public, but they have, because of their doubled efforts, survived the challenges and things were now back to normality.
He said the main problems faced by the school were due to the vacant post created after the three implicated staff members were summoned to report to the district office.
He added that two staff members have been sent to the school and they are now awaiting a replacement for one of the educators.
Takana said a new timetable has been issued and that extra classes to address the backlog would be resuming from February 13.
Ward 34 councillor in Reiger Park, Charles Crawford, was also in attendance and he said he and other community leaders are trying their best to assist the school to gain the public’s lost trust.