#SchoolViolence: Safety measures in spotlight with survey

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The Basic Education Department will partner with global organisations, UNICEF and Save the Children, this year to probe the effectiveness of existing measures to deal with the growing scourge of school violence.

The Minister of Basic Education, Angelina ‘Angie’ Motshekga, says in a written response to questions posed by the Inkatha Freedom Party’s Liezl Linda van der Merwe on the matter that currently schools countrywide are being guided by the National School Safety Framework (NSSF). The effectiveness thereof will be determined in the third School Violence Survey in which UNICEF and Save the Children are partners.

Motshekga is adamant in her response that the Department is not taking the issue lying down. The establishment of a School Safety Steering Committee made up of various education stakeholders, including teacher’s unions and School Governing Body Federations, is in the pipeline.

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, raising concerns regarding school safety.

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.

OFM News/Olebogeng Motse