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MY TAKE ON IT : National conversation urgently needed to halt teacher’s sex assault on learners

Malawi Teachers defile students
Primary school girls like these get defiled by their teachers in Malawi

And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.

And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter: which thing ought not to be done.

And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. Genesis34:2. 7, 25

The media report of 23-year old primary school teacher in Mangochi , Martin Kalima is reported to have defiled a 15-year old standard 7 student girl at Wimame F.P School. Its reported that this occurred several times until the mother of the girl caught him in the act. Following report to police, the suspect has been apprehended and will be charge in accordance with section 138 of the Malawi Penal Code statues since January 2, 2017 in the district.

Mangochi Police deputy spokesperson Amina Tepani Daudi urges the public urged the public to stop such evil acts and said these illegal acts poses a threat to many girls.

The threat to the girls’ lives is both physical and mental. Such acts among other considerations, are a violation of the girl’s human rights, puts her at risk of contracting the HIV and other STIs, corrupts the teacher-pupil relationship, demeans the worth of the girl learner.

The threat to the girl that he will fail her in exams is manipulative, cruel and a low tactic that forces many girls to subject themselves to such men.

Malawi must come to a national conference table and discuss this often swept-under-the-table wide-spread phenomenon. The Police spokesperson said teacher are given custody of students and as such are supposed to be a good example to his pupils, guiding and guarding them, they are custodians of the students they teach. The teacher should not be at the forefront of engaging in illicit sexual acts with student: they have been entrusted to care for their mental growth. It is defeating the purpose of the teacher when the teacher dominates the learner to the point of cornering his wards into having sex with him.

As Malawians continue to pour in their gratefulness to the school Principal and Malawian Police, it is crucial for Malawi’s development that the vile teacher having sex with his learners is rooted out teachers should respect, protect the learner’s – male and female – life and future.

Although there’s been a cry for more teachers, to counter the acts of the vile rapist, male teachers must be sensitized on the dangers of developing sexual liaisons with their students. The Malawi government should also step in and protect the lives of the girl learner by introducing strong laws that would deter male teachers from prying on the female student.

In closing, I leave you this image: The world turns, it turns in a certain way, but it does turn. Women make up 52 percent of the country’s population. In a hypothetical scenario, let’s suppose all girls get defiled while in school or the communities they live in; some get pregnant, others contract HIV or an infectious disease; what would it be like when it comes time for our sons to marry. Whom are they going to marry? All the girls are defiled, impregnated or with some contagious disease.

This would create vicious cycles in our development paths where unhealthy communities would spread like wild forest fires. A stitch in time, save nine: let us uproot this problem now before it turns into a big problem tomorrow.

 

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Janet Karim
Janet Karimhttp://maravipost.com
Candidate Master of Education (2019) EBD, The George Washington University (GSEH); Highly organized, charismatic and persuasive Communications Specialist and accomplished Editor with 10+ years in the communications field, offering expertise in all phases of print; international development work experience with the United Nations headquarters (10 years, and two years UNDP field work); field experience (Malawi) - Oxfam, UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO; and electronic and social media productions. Superb public speaker who communicates effectively with target audiences through strategic dept at event planning and PR campaigns. Conscientious, diplomatic and tactful in all communications. Highly-motivated and trained media professional possessing exceptional writing and editing skills with ability to draft engaging and effective content; contributor for two leading national dailies (Nation Malawi - 2015-PRESENT; Times Malawi (2004-2007). Other areas of expertise include grant writing and project management. Highly trained in international, regional and local lobbying skills. Collaborates with international companies to initiate development policy change and foster public awareness, with deep commitment to social justice and health care equity; especially in work towards ending child, early and forced marriage, and promoting the human rights of the elderly. Microsoft Word, Excel, desktop publishing, broadcasting, television programming, social media management.
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