Maputo — Teachers accused of sexual harassment of girl pupils in a Maputo secondary school have not been arrested, or even thrown out of the teaching profession, but merely transferred to other schools.
According to a report in Wednesday's issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, 83 girls at the Eduardo Mondlane Secondary School complained against the teachers, who were teaching English, physics, chemistry and mathematics in both the first cycle of secondary education (8th to 10th grades), and in the second, pre-university cycle (11th and 12th grades). The exact number of teachers accused of sexual harassment was not given.
Despite this large number of complaints, the teachers were merely suspended from duties for two months, and are now being transferred to other schools, so that there will be no question of them taking reprisals against the girls who denounced them.
The head of the human resources department in the KaMavota urban district education directorate, Josina Muchanga, said it was hoped that the teachers would take the opportunity to repent of their acts, and would not repeat them. If they did, they would be expelled.
One of the teachers protested against his obligatory transfer to the district directorate, but was told there was nothing he could do to change the decision. “He can be placed wherever the directorate sees fit”, the district director, Lucrecia Macamo, said. “Being involved in a case like this, he has no room for manoeuvre”.
Two of the teachers have now been sent to schools in other Maputo neighbourhoods, while the rest are still waiting for placements.
“We are still waiting for the final report from the City Education Inspectorate”, said Muchanga. “It will be accompanied with measures to be taken, in accordance with each case. We can't see what the future of these teachers will be, but what I can see is that they should take this opportunity to change their behaviour, for their own good”.