Pupils march focuses on ‘skollie’ abuse

2017-10-26 06:00
School children outside the Gugulethu police stationPHOTO: GROUND-UP

School children outside the Gugulethu police stationPHOTO: GROUND-UP

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Last Thursday, about 25 learners from ID Mkhize and Fezeka High Schools in Gugulethu marched to the local police station, to demand police visibility in the morning and afternoon when they go to and return from school.

They said they want the police to take action against drug dealers on or near the school premises, and for the police to arrest learners who take drugs on school premises.

The march was organised by the learners and Equal Education.

The protesters sang and waved placards, some of which read: “My safety, My Education, My School.”

The protest is the first in a series of protests planned for the next week by Equal Education on school safety.

It will culminate in a march to Parliament on Friday, 27 October. In 2015 Equal Education audited nearly 250 schools in the Western Cape and found significant safety problems.

“This is part of our provincial campaign on safety in schools. Schools should be safe places for learning. Police should get rid of drug dealers near schools,” said Sindisa Monakali from Equal Education.

Dunyiswa Dyantyi a grade 11 learner at Fezeka High said: “I travel by train from Khayelitsha to Nyanga Junction, and then have to walk a distance to school. In the morning we get robbed and assaulted by skollies who follow us from the train station to school.”

Dantyi said even during lessons “skollies” threaten them.

“One day we all went flat under our desks when a skollie waved a gun through the window. The skollie then left, leaving us so frustrated that we could not go for any other lessons that day.”

Another learner said that they had a similar march last year to Nyanga police station but police only patrolled the area for a week. “We now thought of coming to Gugulethu. Maybe the police may understand us better,” she says. GROUND- UP

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