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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist


We’re raising irresponsible future leaders – Wordsworth High School teacher

Teacher Nenekazi Shabangu exposes rampant drug use and violence, calls for parental support.


Gone are the prayers during school assembly, physical training and effective disciplinary measures, with an ineffective school governing body (SGB) presiding over an institution ravaged by drug use and cases of children being caught having sex in class.

This was the picture of dysfunction painted yesterday by Benoni’s Wordsworth High School teacher Nenekazi Shabangu, who is responsible for teaching natural science and life orientation sciences in Grades 8 to 12.

Lira’s alma mater

The school was the alma mater of world-renowned singer Lerato “Lira” Molapo, but has become a shadow of its former self.

Against a background of verbal and physical attacks on teachers by pupils, sometimes leading to death, Wordsworth is one of several public schools where ill-discipline and violent behaviour has set in.

Reflecting on the dysfunction, Shabangu said Wordsworth was “raising very angry children who are not afraid of anything or anybody”.

“Parents must protect civil servants and stop talking badly about teachers, police and nurses,” he said, adding this was why “children have no respect for teachers or anyone – even the police”.

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‘We are raising irresponsible future leaders’

“We are destroying our children with too much rights we have given them. We are raising irresponsible future leaders who are untouchable.”

He said because children “have too many rights, it has become difficult for teachers to reprimand [pupils] without getting into trouble themselves.

“Unlike before, we no longer pray before starting classes, without any disciplinary measures to be implemented.

“We also have a problem of overaged and problematic [pupils], with tedious processes in place to deal with the crisis.”

Drugs in the school

There has been “an increase in the use of drugs in the school”.

This, he said, has “increased the number of violent cases where [pupils] assault teachers – as well as other [pupils]”.

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“Some schools lack strong managers and principals – something leading to lack of implementation of disciplinary measures.

“Some schools have individuals serving in the SGB for their own personal interests.”

Ill-discipline and widespread drug use

Conceding that Wordsworth faced “several challenges”, principal Malolo Sematle said ill-discipline and widespread drug use were “at the core of our problems”.

“Kids bring drugs to school, a huge problem.

“While we do searches, we are not able to conduct these on a daily basis.

“We normally invite parents to the school, but we have had little success,” said Sematle.

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