At a time when the country is fighting to empower the girl child and eliminate all forms of abuse, teachers have been blamed for being the main perpetrators of sexual abuse in schools.
This emerged during the Girl Child Indaba organized by the Higher Life Foundation where Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) spokesperson, Daisy Zambuko lamented how school teachers are in the habit of abusing vulnerable female students
“It is disheartening that most of these male teachers who are supposed to be acting as guardians of these innocent girls, tend to be the ones who inflict harm and abuse.
“We have received numerous reports were female students have been sexually abused by teachers .In 2015 we attended 21 cases where teachers were having a relationship with female students. This is a worrying figure as we are trying our best to wade off any form of abuse especially in schools,” said Zambuko.
She said abuse of school girls therefore affects the quality of education and affects the students’ life.
“After being abused, students suffer emotionally and this has a lifetime effect on them. They may find it difficult to lead a normal life again so we are saying lets deal decisively with these rowdy teachers,” she added.
She also bemoaned the lack of proper learning facilities in the country especially in rural schools and urged government to act on the problem.
“Large classes also hamper the quality of education. For example in Madziwa, there is a class of more than 70 pupils which makes it difficult for teachers to attend all these students at once,” Zambuko said.
According to the Zimbabwe National Council for Welfare of children (ZNCWC) there are about 2056 schools needed in the country to alleviate overcrowding in schools and there about 33 636 classrooms needed to wade off hot seating which is a phenomenon common in urban centers.