Hanse-Himarwa warns teachers on sexual affairs

15 Oct 2015 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 15 OCT (NAMPA) - There is no space in the teaching fraternity for teachers who are found guilty of having sexual affairs with learners, the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said on Thursday.
She said this while addressing learners of the Augustineum Secondary School, where Jacqueline Kuaseua, 18, was a Grade 10 learner. Kuaseua was killed allegedly by her ‘boyfriend’ and OtjiHerero teacher of that school last Friday.
She was murdered with her 30-year-old sister Cecilia Kauseua in a riverbed behind the Elim Primary School in Khomasdal.
Hanse-Himarwa assured the learners that her ministry will ensure that any teacher who engages in affairs with learners is dealt with appropriately, resulting ultimately in expulsion from the profession. She called on learners to report any suspicious relationships between teachers and learners to the school authorities in good time.
She equally called on parents to open up and report such affairs as soon as they are detected, and they should not condone it at all.
The minister made it clear that the responsibility of teachers is to teach the children and make them productive citizens of Namibia; teachers should operate as men and women who devote their lives to helping children fulfill their dreams and not cut them short.
Hanse-Himarwa noted that her ministry will rid the teaching fraternity of all those who do not belong in it to ensure that the country's boys and girls come to school where they are seen as children and not as women or men, or any kind of object that is abused on the basis of their socio-economic backgrounds by teachers.
“No innocent boy or girl deserves to die brutally at the hands of those who are meant to be their protectors. No boy or girl deserves to be preyed on by those in whose care their parents leave them. Any innocent death of a Namibian child is one too many.”
She further said that no child in this country should feel unsafe at a school, adding that her ministry will ensure that the necessary safety arrangements are made with the safety and security forces.
Namibian schools should be places of safety and not places of harm, and it should be places of learning and teaching and not places of abuse, pain and fear, said Hanse-Himarwa.
“The entire teaching profession is put to shame by the misdeed of a single teacher. I remind you today - every child is your child and need your protection, just as you would protect your own. I issue a warning that any teacher, male or female, engaged in any act that brings this noble profession of teaching in disrepute will be dealt with sternly,” she warned.
Teachers were urged to rededicate themselves to the Code of Conduct that is written as per the Education Ministry’s policies - documents which teachers should follow in letter and spirit.
She said the incident struck learners at the most sensitive time of their lives - time needed to prepare and focus on their final examinations - and encouraged them to be determined and achieve excellent results.
The two sisters will be buried Saturday in Omatjete in the Erongo Region.
The suspect, a 34-year old teacher at the Augustineum Secondary School, was arrested on Friday at the hostel while drinking battery acid in an attempt to end his life. He was immediately admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a local State hospital but was by Thursday out of ICU and still under police guard in that hospital.
He is set to appear in court on Monday.