Stop violence in schools, Education dept appeals to all stakeholders

The Department of Education said on Thursday it was vital for pupils to understand that the reason for being in school was to get an academic education and called on them to refrain from violent and criminal activities.

“As a learner you are expected to accept that the main reason for being in school is to learn and develop academically, socially and culturally, adhere to school rules, respect the legitimacy and authority of teachers, participate in Learner Representative Councils (LRCs) to safeguard your interests, show respect to other learners and not to discriminate, and avoid anti-social behaviour like theft, vandalism, assault, sexual harassment, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as other activities that disrupt the learning process,” the department said in a statement.

It said it was deeply concerned that a strategy to prevent violence in schools was not yielding the desired results. For it to work, it was necessary for all stakeholders to play their part, it added.

“Crime prevention and the teaching of positive values and morals require a joint effort from all stakeholders, as the violent tendencies are not just a direct influence, but emanate from society.”

The department reminded school governing bodies that they were required to take disciplinary steps against pupils who violated applicable codes of conduct and urged parents to help to enforce discipline in their children.

“Parents and guardians are also expected to attend parents meetings at all times.”

The department rejected calls for teachers to be armed, saying schools should be “gun- and violence-free spaces”.

The statement follow a number of violent incidents at schools across the country in recent weeks.

This week, a pupil from Sea Point High School in Cape Town was arrested following a brazen armed robbery at the school while fellow pupils were writing exams.

African News Agency (ANA)

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.