Department tackles 'problem' pupils
THE Gauteng education department has admitted they have a challenge in trying to turn around the lives of pupils with behavioural problems.
The department is holding a workshop at the Ekurhuleni East FET College in Springs with the aim of discouraging learners from gangsterism, and alcohol and substance abuse.
Schools around the province were asked to identify errant and problematic pupils, and make sure they attend the workshop.
The department's spokesman Charles Phahlane said he hoped most of the pupils would leave the college as "better human beings".
He conceded that the fight was far from over saying "we won't win all of them".
The workshop, which started on Monday last week for 1650 pupils, ends on Thursday.
Colonel Thabo Malematse of the South African Police Service made a presentation about the effects of drugs. When he started talking about dagga, there was a loud cheer from the learners.
There were also wolf whistles from boys when girls walked up to the stage to ask Malematse questions.
However, Phahlane said that was to be expected. "They are still children and we are trying to expose them to different things, so there is peer pressure. Some of them were perhaps trying to impress others. But when you speak to them in smaller groups, they do not act the same way.
"W e have had some children saying they wished that they could spend more time at the workshop," he said.
*Thabo Dikobe from Gatang High School said he was grateful for the opportunity. "I knew only of few drugs, but after my time here I realise that there are many different drugs out there and the dangers they pose to us." - firstname.lastname@example.org
*Thabo Dikobe is not his real name.