Schools declare war on social ills

2011-05-04 00:00

WITH more than 17 000 schoolgirls reportedly falling pregnant in KZN schools last year, the provincial Education Department has resolved to tackle head on all the social ills, including drugs and weapons, bedevilling schools.

In a campaign called My Life, My Future, officially launched yesterday, the 240 schools identified as hotspots will get special emphasis.

Education officials, teachers and principals, teacher unions, school governing body representatives and other stakeholders gathered at Umlazi Comtech School for the launch. Pupils in the Umlazi district were bused to the event.

Education MEC Senzo Mchunu told the audience, “We are gathered here today to declare that we feel threatened … by the extent to which our people are affected by social ills and the prospect of our teachers and learners being affected and infected.

“We are troubled by the high numbers of HIV and Aids amongst teenagers in the province, alcohol and drug abuse and high learner pregnancy as well as factors that contribute to the state of uncertainty of the future of KwaZulu-Natal.”

Mchunu listed the number of pregnant pupils in each school district. The rural districts of Obonjeni and Vryheid had the highest pregnancy rates last year, at 2 229 and 2 153 respectively.

Mchunu didn’t mince his words.

“We want you not to have sex at all … but if you are already on the bandwagon, at least use protection. It might be nice for five minutes, but you will die early.

“Tea with four teaspoons of sugar is nice but you can drink it with one teaspoon and live longer,” he said.

Mchunu told The Witness afterwards that the gathering started after noon so that pupils could attend at least some lessons.

Their attendance at the launch was not a waste of time, he said, since they are a critical component of the campaign.

Whether all the pupils were really paying attention is in doubt. Many were seen loitering while others chatted in groups.

All the same, they could probably name every performer, including Big Nuz, Tizozo Hlengiwe Mhlaba and Ukhozi Fm DJ Linda Sibiya, who came to entertain them after the event.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.