Open-school policy to protect girls

Minister of Education, Science and Technology Bright Msaka has said government is finalising the Open Spaces Policy to lower cases of sexual assault in schools.

The policymakers envisage creating a transparent learning environment where   girls no longer suffer defilement because they are confined in a room perverted male teachers.

Msaka, speaking at a community march to combat gender-based violence in schools organised by Oxfam and Girls Empowerment Network at Enkondhlweni Teacher Development Centre in Mzimba, said most teachers get away with sexual crimes  against minors due to lack of evidence.

“The policy blocks male teachers from interacting with girls in closed spaces. There should always be a third party to prevent sexual abuse.

Currently, it is hard to get evidence as teachers claim to be falsely accused,” he said.

He warned that teachers who molest learners risk dismissal.

Msaka further said government is constructing more schools to ensure learners no longer walk long distances to school.

The ministry will employ 9 360 primary school teachers and 1 200 secondary school teachers this year, he disclosed.

Genet project officer Twambilire Kayuni said the policy will help address school-based rights violations faced by girls.

“We have received lots of complaints from girls through the suggestion box on how girls are sexually abused at the hands of male teachers. Mainly this happens in closed doors,” she said.

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