School suicide on the rise

2011-09-19 07:19

A total of 96 school pupils in Eastern Cape have committed suicide since the beginning of this year.

The Times newspaper reported today that this was according to the Eastern Cape education department’s biannual Learner Mortality Report.

The report indicated that, on average, 16 school children had committed suicide per month since June this year.

A total of 109 pupils took their own lives last year, the report added.

Officials said the real figure could be higher since the provincial education department relied on incidents reported to it by schools, The Times reported.

“This means that there might be cases which go unreported to schools and in turn to us,” department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said.

Factors contributing to the suicides included domestic violence, bullying at schools, peer pressure, poverty and the prevalence of HIV/Aids in the province.

Pulumani said the department had several programmes in place to combat the social challenges and moral decline behind the breakdown of values in the province.

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