Handle ‘Chikankatagate’ with care

Chikankata mission Secondary School

THE sex scandal that has rocked the Salvation Army’s Chikankata Secondary School must be handled with care because it has the hallmark of sensationalism.
We commend the three teachers’ unions that have condemned the behaviour of the teachers who allegedly forced 12 pupils to engage in sexual intercourse in their presence after catching them in the act last week.
In the past some unions have defended their members who have engaged in malpractices such as aiding pupils to cheat in examinations.
But we have lately seen a shift, with the unions taking the lead in condemning their members and warning them that they will not defend wrong doers.
In yesterday’s edition we published a story on page two headlined ‘Teachers unions condemn Chikankata sex incident’ ,in which three teachers’ unions called for the arrest of teachers who allegedly forced pupils to have sex as they watched.
The Zambia Union of Teachers (ZNUT), Secondary Teachers Union of Zambia (SESTUZ) and Basic Teachers Union of Zambia (BETUZ) urged law enforcement officers to slap charged on the teachers who are reported to have filmed he pupils’ sex orgy on their mobile phones.
This episode has not only tarnished the image of the teaching profession, but also caused the Salvation Army a lot of anguish.
ZNUT deputy secretary general Catherine Chinunda said punitive action such as the one that has been taken against the pupils should also be taken against the teachers.
“This matter must be investigated so that the named teachers that are reported to have instructed the Grade 12 pupils, six girls and six boys, to repeat the sex act while they stood and watched be brought to book,” Ms Chinunda said.
SESTUZ deputy secretary general Emmanuel Zulu called on investigative wings to visit the area and probe the matter, which he described as an embarrassment.
Mr Zulu said while he strongly condemned the pupil’s actions, the teachers’ behaviour is regrettable and tantamount to pornography.
But we feel this scandal must be investigated with a lot of caution to avoid crucifying wrong people.
If the teachers indeed did what they are alleged to have done they must face the law because such behaviour is unacceptable in Zambia.
It is appalling to think that parents, for that is what the teachers are, can force their own children to do such an abominable thing while they watch and film the action.
Schools should not be used as porn halls for pupils to learn such sordid behaviour because it does not augur well for their future.
But we feel the pupils should not be treated like angels.
We say this because the attention seems to have shifted from the pupils’ misconduct to the teachers as if what the younger ones did was right.
These are not primary school children. They are adolescents who are fully aware of what is wrong and what is right.
They planned their sex romp in advance and were just waiting for the schools to close.
It would, therefore, be hypocritical to let them off the hook as if they did not do anything wrong.
In a bid to divert attention from themselves the pupils could have cooked up the story of the teachers ordering them to repeat the sexual acts.
They were fully aware that should they implicate the teachers they stood a chance of escaping the consequences of their actions.
But if the teachers indeed did what the pupils are alleging they must face the law as well as administrative censure.