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School not a place for violence

schools need to be a place of safety.
schools need to be a place of safety.
Image: SAMORN TARAPAN/123rf.com

Pupils being exposed to violence at schools, where they should be nurtured, is concerning.

In today's edition, we report on a teacher who was stabbed, allegedly by another educator. The 47-year-old woman, who works at Tshefoge Primary School in Vaalboschloot, North West, was in a critical condition yesterday at a local hospital following the attack.

The alleged perpetrator is from a nearby school, he entered the hall and refused to sanitise and to have his temperature checked. He then called the woman and they argued and she was stabbed several times in full view of colleagues and schoolchildren.

One can only imagine the trauma the kids are going through after witnessing such an incident. Such actions are deplorable, we send our children to schools to learn and not to be witnesses of atrocious crimes. Some of our schools are of late breeding grounds for violence and the department needs to tighten security to ensure the safety of pupils and teachers, we need metal detectors to avoid people entering premises armed.

Children need to be in a safe environment to learn but over the years we have reported on many violence incidents occurring on school premises where teachers and pupils were victims and perpetrators. Recently, 15-year-old Lufuno Mavhunga overdosed on pills after a video of her being repeatedly slapped by a schoolmate went viral on social media. Her schoolmates were seen in the video cheering on the attacker, further proof that our society has normalised violence.

Parents, teachers, department of education officials and society at large need to come up with solutions on how to contain violence in schools and we cannot carry on as if nothing is wrong.

The Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention study done in 2016 showed that violence was widespread in SA schools. It found that one in five pupils in secondary school had experienced violence in schools between August 2011 and August 2012.

In 2019, basic education minister Angie Motshekga disclosed that there were 1,345 schools that had experience bullying, violent incidents in the country. Mpumalanga was in the lead with 414 schools hit by crime and violence, followed by 251 in Gauteng, 202 in Kwazulu-Natal, Western Cape the figure was at 147, 99 in the Eastern Cape, 90 in the Free State, 80 in North West, 40 in Northern Cape and 22 in Limpopo.

We need more programmes to teach our young and old that violence in not a solution for conflict.

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