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Societal Mitigation Strategies Against Sexual abuse of Female Learners by Male Teachers in Secondary Schools in South Africa

T Manyage
T.J Mudau
F.C Sithubi


This article presents the findings of a qualitative study that examined sexual abuse of female learners by male teachers at secondary schools in Gauteng Province. South Africa has the highest rate of sexual abuse of learners by their male teachers (Ntobong, 2010:2). Literature revealed that allegations and claims about sexual abuse of female learners by their male teachers at schools are alarming in the country, as such, Department of Education (DoE) can no longer ignore it (Magwa, 2015:5). Four secondary schools were purposively sampled, three principals, three SGB members, eight LO teachers, 20 learners, a nurse, a social worker and a police officer were interviewed. Findings revealed that participants were concerned about the abuse of power by teachers, peer pressure, poverty and the state of sexual readiness by female learners were mentioned as main factors that encourage female learners to have sexual relationships with male teachers. This study employed Social Learning Theory Theoretical framework to explore how best the society could intervene to assist female learners when such claims are brought to the fore and/or raised, by encouraging learners to report the act as to protect them from being caught in an unending spiral of sexual abuse.

Keywords: female learners, loco-parent, male teachers, relationship, sex, sexual abuse, society