This is revealed in Basic Education Minister, Angelina ‘Angie’ Motshekga’s written response to a question posed by the Inkatha Freedom Party’s Liezl Linda van der Merwe on the issue of school safety. When asked if anything was being done to work on the issue, Motshekga says the department is currently being guided by the National School Safety Framework (NNSF) which provides approaches to deal with the issue.
The minister stresses that a key part of the programme is collaboration between various stakeholders including police, civil society organisations and other related institutions, seeing as violence in schools is closely related to violence exhibited in surrounding communities.
This as a video of a group of Sand du Plessis High School learners in Bloemfontein engaged in a scuffle allegedly over a missing device, was circulated on social media of late. The spokesperson at the Free State Department of Education, Howard Ndaba, says the learners who are in school uniform on the video taken last week Friday (July 26) have been identified by officials who will not only investigate the matter but will institute disciplinary proceedings against those implicated.
Ndaba warns learners in the province that this behaviour will not be tolerated by the province. “We really want to send a stern warning to our learners out there, throughout the province, that we are deeply concerned about the level of violence in schools where learners are involved in this fighting. We don’t want to turn our schools into a boxing ring,” cautions Ndaba.
The provincial secretary of the South African Teacher’s Union (SAOU) in the Northern Cape, Henk Brand, echoed the above-mentioned sentiments last year when he said it was difficult to pre-empt instances of violence in schools, especially when the reality is that learners live in very violent communities. Brand urged communities to rally together in fighting violence.