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Parents, communities urged to ensure violence-free schools

by Edwin Tshivhidzo
on 19 Aug 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The Department of Education has called on communities, parents and all other stakeholders to play an active role in ensuring that schools are a place of learning and free of violence.

This comes after a learner was attacked and killed by another pupil with a sword at the Nic Diederichs Technical High School in Krugersdorp on Monday. Two others sustained injuries.

The suspect, whose face was painted black and covered in a balaclava was later arrested.

He has been charged with murder and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The provincial Education Department and the police are investigating the incident.

Department of Education spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele told BuaNews on Tuesday that the department was doing everything in its power to curb violence in schools.

"We have long acknowledged that there are problems in schools and we have called upon all stakeholders, parents and the community to actively get involved in ensuring that schools are violence-free," said Mr Ngqengelele.

"As a department, we are concern about violence in our schools hence we are working on a number of projects and safety campaigns to ensure safety on our schools.

"Parents must make sure that their children go to school to learn and that they must always check or monitor their school work," Mr Ngqengelele said.

He also expressed concerns about taverns located near schools saying this was unacceptable.

With regard to allegations of Satanism being involved in the recent spate of violence and suicides committed by learners, Mr Ngqengelele said they could not confirm or deny the allegations but said investigations were continuing.

Last week two Soweto learners committed suicide under mysterious circumstances and there were similarities in both incidences.

Both pupils left suicide notes which depict similarities.

In a bid to ensure safety in schools, the Department of Education jointly with the South African Police Service visits schools conducting routine searches.

In Gauteng, the Department of Community Safety together with the provincial Department of Education had identified 240 schools which will benefit from the Hayiseka School Safety Programme.

The programme assists schools to identify safety threats and act on them directly.

The programme will seek to turn all schools in Gauteng into safe and secure places that support learning and development. - BuaNews

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