n Journal of Educational Studies - Voicing adolescent learners’ perceptions of sexual messages received from teachers in a rural school within the Free State province

Volume 17 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1680-7456


Effective communication (both verbal and non-verbal) of educators must be viewed as an essential tool to address the HIV and AIDS pandemic, and in addition prepare the youth for one of the major societal challenges: responsible sexual behaviour. However, learners are often still faced with sexual violence and inappropriate sexual behaviour practiced by teachers. Sexual violence is rarely reported due to the culture of silence in community. This study aims to voice learner experiences of sexual misconduct and the challenges they experience within their schooling environment. A qualitative research design was used to collect data through visual participatory methodology (drawings) with 16 adolescents in a rural area within the Free State province and analyzed by making use of Critical Theory as theoretical framework. The findings suggest that learners’ experiences of the sexual messages sent by teachers include inappropriate verbal and non-verbal messages, which leave them feeling vulnerable. In addition, teachers are reported to engage in sexual relations with learners. We end with suggestions to assist teachers and learners to become active participants in the holistic development of youth.

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