The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation on Friday condemned a Lenasia schoolteacher who allegedly called a Muslim pupil a “terrorist”.
“If the allegations against the teacher are found to be true, it raises serious concerns about ongoing incidents of racism in SA schools,” the foundation’s director, Neeshan Balton, said in a statement.
“It is extremely worrying that Islamophobia may have found its way into a classroom.”
A teacher at the Apex Primary School allegedly called a Grade 7 Muslim pupil a “terrorist” after reportedly hitting his topi (Islamic skullcap) off his head earlier this week.
The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa (Jusa), the Council of Muslim Theologians, said the teacher verbally abused the pupil and handled his Islamic instruction textbook in a disrespectful manner.
It met the school principal on Thursday, who informed them that the matter had been referred to the education department’s district authorities.
The foundation quoted Gauteng education department spokesperson Oupa Bodibe as saying that the teacher had been placed on precautionary suspension and would face disciplinary action.
Jusa said a letter, purportedly from the teacher, was circulated on social media. In it, the teacher expressed remorse and volunteered to undergo an awareness programme to learn more about Islam, it said.
“While we acknowledge and take into account the teacher’s regret in good faith, it is a matter of alarm and dismay that in this day of a new South Africa we still have teachers who harbour notions of hate and seem to remain callously insensitive to the religious beliefs of learners under their charge.”[Source: News24]