South Africa: Minister Motshekga Worried About Surge of Violence in Schools

press release

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has noted with concern, the rising number of violent attacks amongst learners in schools in recent months. Several incidents of fist-fights and stabbings among learners have been reported to the department.

More recently, three separate incidents which led to deaths of learners have come to the department's attention in the past week alone.

To ensure safety of our children and staff, the Department of Basic Education has in place, Regulations for Safety Measures At All Public Schools. These Regulations give Provincial Education Departments powers to, among others, conduct random searches for weapons and narcotics, to install CCTV cameras and hand-held metal detectors, and hire security companies for schools that can afford them.

As the President of the Republic Mr Jacob Zuma declared in 2011, Education is a Societal Issue, and for this reason, we appeal to parents, guardians, caregivers and communities to assist us the department to curb the scourge of crime and violence that is now spreading into the schoolyard. A small contribution such as checking what is in your child's school bag every day, can go a long way.

Open communication between learners and parents and teachers can also assist to detect any signs of bullying or abuse at school. We would also like to remind learners of the Code of Conduct for Learners which every schools should have in its possession, committing to good behaviour and respect for teachers and fellow learners.

"My sincere condolences go out to the families of learners who have been injured or killed by fellow learners inside the school yard. This trend cannot be allowed to continue. I will discuss this matter with all provincial MECs, whom I am meeting at the Council of Education Ministers in the next two days, to discuss and agree on ways to intensify and improve security at our schools.

The Department of Basic Education will continue with its endeavours to create safe, caring and child-friendly schools, where our children can grow and develop into adults that society can be proud of, "said Minister Motshekga.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has noted with concern, the rising number of violent attacks amongst learners in schools in recent months. Several incidents of fist-fights and stabbings among learners have been reported to the department.

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