Are we failing our children?

02 December 2020 | Education

Bernadette Hess

Over the years we have experienced many highs and lows in our teaching profession. “When our learners excel academically or in extra-curricular activities we are overjoyed. More so, after our learners have left school and as teachers, we hear about the strides they have made and their accomplishments attained, we feel a sense of reward and pride. And rightly so, because teachers, among others, help mould the child into the being he or she becomes,” says Ms Hess, a teacher at Dawid Bezuidenhout High School.

“Sadly, when the tragedy of gender-based violence strikes our school community, we ask ourselves a myriad of questions: Have I taught them how to cope with the uncertainties, temptations and social evils they may encounter in life? Could I have done more to prepare them for the hurdles on their journey of life? Did I fail to plant the seed of respect and instill the value of human life in the minds of our boys? Or teach them that no means no?” Hess added.

In July 2010 Magdelena Stoffels, at the time a learner at Dawid Bezuidenhout, was brutally murdered within close proximity of the school. Politicians, learners, women’s groups and many sympathisers rallied together showing their outrage at this senseless loss of life.

“Marches were held and there was a general outcry. But this was short lived. Magdalena became another statistic, an unresolved case. Parents were robbed of the closure they needed. When the storm died down, people continued with their normal life. Now, ten years down the line, we are hit hard again by the brutal death of another past learner of our school, Shannon Wasserfall, who matriculated in 2016. And we’ve come to realise that more needs to be done than just a public display of emotions,” Hess added.

Hess believes that too often gender-based violence is sensationalised, which just magnifies the crime and does not focus on the actual issue to find a concrete solution. Gender-based violence, particularly violence against the female gender, is one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations.

“It prevents these women from reaching their full potential, their life being snuffed out at a time that was not destined for them. We cannot keep saying it is the government’s responsibility to end GBV or say that all we need to do is to introduce the death penalty or change laws. Together we need to tackle this issue if we wish to contribute to nation building,” she said.

“The question arises, what can we, as educational staff, do? The first step of prevention is education. Prevention should start early in life, educating our children, promoting respectful relationships and gender equality. It is a critical time to forge values and norms on gender equality.”

Hess added that the curriculum objectives and educational programmes should be in place that support teachers to acquire the necessary skills and have the tools at their disposal on how to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

“We need to tackle violence against girls at school level and raise awareness of the challenges our girls may face. More importantly, we need to transform the attitudes our boys have towards the female gender; behavioural change is needed. Our boys need to become agents of change. At school level we need to mobilise our youth so that they will speak out about violence using social media as a platform not only to bring awareness of this evil but to call for an end to this.”

Hess believes that teachers should be approachable so that learners can feel free to speak out and we to listen with compassion.

“Furthermore, the expertise of respected community leaders can be engaged to assist us in what appears to be a mammoth task. Let us do our part in addressing this issue and striving to eliminate GBV. It is an issue that knows no boundaries, be it economic or social.”

Similar News

 

WBPHS excels in NSSCH exams

3 weeks ago - 09 February 2021 | Education

Walvis Bay • [email protected] Walvis Bay Private High School (WBPHS) clinched the sixth position nationally amongst private schools in the Namibia Senior Secondary...

Unam says no to grade 11s

3 weeks ago - 08 February 2021 | Education

Windhoek The University of Namibia (Unam) is reluctant to admit learners exiting school at grade 11 through the new Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary...

PSS ready to welcome online students

3 weeks ago - 07 February 2021 | Education

The Private School Swakopmund is spearheading a “new normal” in home school circles, with the launch of PSS Online. This venture is different from other...

Hybrid education system underway

3 weeks ago - 05 February 2021 | Education

Swakopmund • [email protected] The executive director of the ministry of education, Sanet Steenkamp, says that Covid-19 has pointed out inequities and inequalities that her...

Covid costs education

4 weeks ago - 02 February 2021 | Education

Swakopmund • [email protected] The ministry of education, arts and culture received N$56 million from central government to be spent on Covid-19 related costs at state...

Só werk uitslae se bekendmaking

1 month - 29 January 2021 | Education

Volgende Vrydag is dit sulke tyd vir graad 11's en 12's. Die ministerie van onderwys, kuns en kultuur het aangekondig die graad 11- (nuwe leerplan...

More than 260 grade 1’s without a spot

1 month - 25 January 2021 | Education

Walvis Bay • [email protected] According to the regional director of education in Erongo, Enfrieda Stephanus, there are still 263 grade one learners who have...

Erongo schools ready

1 month - 16 January 2021 | Education

Swakopmund • [email protected] The majority of schools in the Erongo region are ready to resume face-to-face teaching later this month or early in February,...

Schools’ reopening delayed

1 month - 04 January 2021 | Education

The minister of education, arts and culture Ester Nghipondoka announced proposed dates for the reopening of schools.Nghipondoka said that 14 January is the proposed...

Skool termyne vir 2021 bekend gemaak

3 months ago - 21 November 2020 | Education

Skole open aanstaande jaar vir die eerste termyn op 11 Januarie en sluit weer op 23 April. Dit is 71 skooldae en sluit die vakansiedag...

Latest News

NFCPT employees back at work...

10 hours ago | Local News

Walvis Bay • [email protected] Employees of the Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust (NFCPT) are back at work after the union and the company reached...

Planning Walvis Bay’s future

19 hours ago | Local News

Walvis Bay The Department of Community and Economic Development recently launched the commencement of the Local Economic Development for Walvis Bay. The bid...

Council wants to be planning...

20 hours ago | Local News

Walvis Bay • [email protected] The Walvis Bay municipal management committee approved an application to be submitted to the Minister of Urban and Rural Development...

House issue tackled in Walvis...

20 hours ago | Local News

Walvis Bay • [email protected] The Walvis Bay municipal council is devising strategies to tackle the housing crisis in Walvis Bay. Mayor Trevino Forbes...

Grumpy’s Fishing Report

21 hours ago | Fishing

February is truly one of the top fishing months along our beautiful coastline. The first interclub competition was also held at the Winston wreck area...

Grumpy’s Fishing Report

21 hours ago | Fishing

February is truly one of the top fishing months along our beautiful coastline. The first interclub competition was also held at the Winston wreck area...

African Vocals entoesiasties oor liefdadigheid

21 hours ago | Local News

Swakopmund • [email protected] Die a capella-groep, African Vocals, het onlangs ’n liefdadigheidsprojek in Swakopmund se DRC- informele nedersetting van stapel gestuur met die doel...

Vroulike taxibestuurder maak wesenlike verskil

21 hours ago | Local News

Swakopmund • [email protected] Die plaaslike entrepreneur Lavinia Ngodji (27) verbreek stereotipes deurdat sy, as ’n vroulike taxibestuurder, ’n veiliger opsie vir ander vroue en kinders...

Anguish as footballers die in...

1 day - 01 March 2021 | Accidents

Henties Bay/Swakopmund/Windhoek • [email protected] and [email protected] Young soccer players from Henties Bay endured a horrific ordeal on Saturday night when an accident...

Load More