Gender Based Violence (GBV) affects learners more, promoting the main ecumenical christian mother body, the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), to challenge teachers to help stop the problem.
Speaking during a five day long Training of Trainers for Teachers and Education Desk Officers, projects coordinator M’theto Lungu said: “It is not enough to fight GBV in the family unit alone, as small children tend to also suffer in schools.
” We are aware that GBV affects pupils even in the school setup. Boys abusing girls, teachers taking advantage of boys and girls. Most of the GBV forms in the school pass for mere tease, but this puts psychological, physical and even spiritual pressure on victims,” he said.
Lungu added that both male and teachers that use language, actions, and any forms that impinge on pupils and indeed fellow teachers have a legal case to answer. Teachers that act to encourage and cover-up cases of GBV equally can be prosecuted.
“Both male and female teachers must ensure GBV is absent from their schools. They need to have their capacity built up to ably identify, engage, and report cases.
“Primary Education Advisors and Zone leaders must also provide safeguards and oversight to end GBV in schools,” he said.
Desk Officee for Primary Education in Dowa, Joseph Chafukira, said time had come for teachers to call a spade a spade.
“Children need to learn in a conducive atmosphere free from any form of abuse. It is upon us as teachers to handle GBV matters without bias and to safeguard our pupils.
“Teachers that molest, intice pupils into sexual or any other forms of abuse, those that fail to report cases to the rightful referal systems have no place in the schools, in Dowa, and by extension the Malawi education frateenity,” he said, asking that a Guidance and Counselling training also be considered for Dowa teachers.
“This will help our teachers in professional handling of cases, as they work with victim support units of the Police, health, social welfare, and judicial refesals.”
The participants were drawn from four teaching zones under T/A Msakambewa – Chigudu, Chibwata, Boma, and Nalunga.
The training, under the Theology and Human Rights project, also explored GBV in schools, churches, and GBV and disabilities. It also provided the participants with knowledge of the several framework and distributed material books, including the Gender Act, Child Protection Act, the Malawi Constitution, and religious leader’s guide for project delivery and the other on GBV related scripture.
The training is supported by the Norwegian Church Aid with proceeds from the Royal Norwegian Embassy and lasts till June 2017.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :