VIOLENCE IN SCHOOLS A CAUSE FOR CONCERN
By: Zama Ngcoya
People have raised their concerns about the safety of children in schools due to increased violence.
According the 2013 Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention’s National School Violence Study, over 90 % of school pupils were responsible for the violence in schools, with the
educators at 6.8 %.
Many school-related violent incidents have been reported in the year 2015 alone.
Some students have also indicated an ease of access to alcohol, drugs, and weapons to schools.
Nompumelelo Mkhize (47) whose son was a victim of bullying, said that she is unhappy because of the level of violence in schools.
“I am not pleased at all with the way things are going in schools at the moment.
School is supposed to be a learning environment where all students feel safe around their peers.
Instead our children are falling victim to bullying and no longer want to go to school because of other students who feel they are superior and should be respected,” said Mkhize.
Mkhize added that the Department of Education should intervene greatly.
“The Department of Education is not taking enough measures to curb the violence in schools.
In order for this to end, they need to investigate the cause of the violence, the perpetrators, and implement measures that will also set an example to all those who wish to go against the
schools code of conduct,” she added.
Sduduzo Goba (17), a matric pupil at Lamontville High School who was stabbed earlier this year following a misunderstanding with another fellow pupil, said that students disregard
school rules that are set before them.
“Students are naturally rebellious and no matter how much you warn them against something, they will continue anyway just to prove a point,” said Goba.
He added that school bags must be searched every morning, in order to avoid the possession of illegal substances or weapons, by students.
Dr Granville Whittle, Basic Education Department deputy director-general for care and support addressed the issue at the portfolio committee in Parliament.
“Long-term measures that will be adopted to stem school violence would include investing in the training of teachers to identify children at risk and improving accountability of school
management teams,” said Whittle.