Education officials in South African have shut down a high school following an incident involving an 18 year old female learner. The young student committed suicide using insecticide after she was told that she had failed her examinations.
The student aged 18 and identified as Trish Ramavhoya took her life
after she “was made to fail” as punishment for repeatedly turning down
indecent sexual advances from her tutor, reports say.
South African media have reported that the Mpumalanga education department was on Monday (January 31) forced to suspend 13 tutors as well as a principal of Vezilwazi Secondary School after canceling all reports and ordering the remarking of scripts in order to reissue valid reports to learners.
Mpumalanga is within KwaZulu Natal province in the eastern part of the
vast Southern African country. According to various reports, some learners were allegedly asked to pay bribes of up to R500 (about $60) or offer sexual favours to staff in return for a pass.
“Grade 11 pupil Trish Ramavhoya, 18, allegedly refused to pay or sleep
with a teacher and decided to end her life using an insecticide on her
birthday when she discovered that she had indeed failed as a teacher
had promised” one publication reported.
“The class teacher said there was no way Trish could fail because she
was a straight A pupil” continued the report adding that “Trish would
never pass unless she slept with him (the teacher)”
Though statistics of suicides committed under such circumstances (sex for pass) were not immediately available, cases like these are widespread in South Africa where many girls have been impregnated by teachers who asked for sexual favours in exchange for passing grades.
Their vulnerability has contributed to young girls also falling prey to their male counterparts. And Trish Ramavhoya’s case has revealed the rampant rape cases that are hardly ever punished, leaving most tutors and male students to go scot free.
In November, 2010, the South African media reported a horrific incident involving a 15-year-old Johannesburg girl who was alleged raped by her classmates including two 16-year-olds and a 14-year-old.
A video of the act which was circulated among pupils had been filmed by at least 10 pupils who stood by as the act took place.