Panyaza Lesufi not coping with deaths of learners

MEC of Education in Gauteng Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency(ANA)

Pretoria – Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is not coping with the deaths of learners in the province.The political head of basic education in the province made the confession to the National Press Club in Pretoria yesterday, where he was guest speaker.

There have been 15 deaths of learners and four of teachers in various incidents since the start of the academic year.

Lesufi said his exhaustion was compounded by the effects of incidents on the mental health of learners, something previously not regarded as important but this had to be prioritised now.He said this had not been an easy transition.There was support from the Department of Social Development and organisations such as the Teddy Bear Clinic.

Through this, he said the department had realised that not every school could afford counselling services for learners and staff.“Our learners are going through hell and we need someone who can listen to them.“When female learners are on the way to school, they are forced by boys to give them their phone numbers.“When they refuse they are harassed.

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