Teachers and high school students are having romantic relationships, whether we want it or not. The question is: is it a bad thing when teachers and their pupils are in love with each other? And should something be done about it?
In this week's edition of Speak Up! we talk to Samantha, a young girl who has fond memories of her romantic relationship with her geography teacher. We also discuss the phenomenon with a few of her peers, and close off with the perspective of a former teacher.
Host/Producer: Emmanuel Nkomo
In case you cannot stream the show, check out some excerpts below:
Samantha (a student at a high school in Bulawayo who got into a romantic relationship with her teacher): He approached me. We had a Modelling in my school and we were contesting. The teacher was the coach and he took me for rehearsals. I was like the best and he actually got charmed I can say... Every girl was talking about him, so I couldn’t show myself that I wanted him but the thing is that everyone was just talking about him. He was like a Lotto ticket so I won the lotto, but it wasn’t a serious thing.
Student 1: "As much as we would want to sugar coat it the reality is that these things are really happening out there in our schools. You may find that there is a student teacher and he is very young maybe 21 or 22 who is just trying to make his way in life. Especially if he is teaching in high school where there are mature girls who are 18 or 19. Obviously they might date and if it blossom into something beautiful they may end up getting married. I know of this couple, they met at high school, the guy was actually a teacher. But then the thing is its bad just generally . There is a stereotype that students should not date their teachers, it disturbs everything and all that. Well I don’t know but I think if they get along its just fine if no one is taking advantage of the situation. For example if the girl is 19 and the teacher is 21 they can relate. So I don’t know, there are two sides to the story."
Student 2: I think we have two teachers here. The very old teacher who is going to play with you and the one who has got potential, maybe the guy is on his semester break and he wants to teach part time. There are these man whereby the man is married but he wants to use you sexually but there is this other one who is dating for a purpose maybe he is seeing a future wife in you.
Student 3: It pisses me off because it’s like trying to take advantage of someone who is young. I don’t think it should happen like that because if a teacher now starts courting a student it’s kind of weird. You find that there was a guy who was actually after the chick but then the chick will be saying that the teacher is much better because he has the money and the student doesn’t have. So it’s an obvious case that the student will lose out and the teacher will win at the end of the day. But the problem is he might take advantage of him being a teacher and abusing his powers on me the guy, that’s the bad part of it.
Bruce (teacher): I got one letter from a student then we set down with the other guys and decided what to do with the letter. We took the letter and kept it.
Interviewer: Let’s be honest with each other. How did you feel about this approach the girl did ,you are a man and you are bound to be attracted to a young lady who might be good looking. How did you take this particular situation?
Bruce – It wasn’t easy. I was like ‘ aah ok I am a man’, but I also said ‘aah she is a student.’ I evaluated the situation first saying what if I get caught and stuff like that.
What if? What if?
About Speak Up
Speak UP! is an audio show in which young Africans discuss thorny social issues without pulling any punches. It is created by a selection of young hosts and producers in Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Nigeria and Kenya, working in partnership with local media organizations and RNW. Each edition of Speak UP! provides YOU with a chance to express yourself – because everybody wants to be heard.