Learners Right To Dignity And Privacy Were Infringed In Port Elizabeth School.

PICTURE: hi4life Health Portal

The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) on Tuesday has called on the Departments of Basic Education to urgently intervene and ensure that learners’ constitutional rights are upheld.

This follows an incident at Alfonso Arries Primary School in Port Elizabeth where school pupil where subjected to HIV tests without parental consent and the result of two pupil was disclosed in front of the class.

According to the Eastern Cape Education Department, it has revealed that consent forms where sent to the parents and some them where never signed, leaving no choice but to test pupils.

SANCO National Spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu, has revealed the concern about the increase of incidents in which learners’ rights are violated without any consequences against individuals and parties that are, by omission or commission undermining respect for children’s right to confidentiality and dignity.

“The access to learners at schools must be restricted and any health related and medical procedures conducted on them must have the express consent of parents,” he said.

“It must be conducted in a professional manner, uphold children’s rights, patient’s charter as well meet approved clinical and health standards,” he concluded.

Furthermore, with the very similar situation, earlier this month, school pupil at Pitso-Letlhogile Secondary School in the North West Province,23 learners where subjected to birth control injection for prevention of pregnancy without the parents concern.

The manner in which the activity was carried out, was regrettable since it left learners feeling that their rights particularly the right to human dignity and the right to privacy were infringed.

Sanco finds the situation happening in both schools as totally unacceptable and calls for an in-depth probe so that harsh action must be taken.