8 things you should know about Equal Education's findings in social audit on Cape schools

2016-07-01 12:50
School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - These are eight of the major findings of Equal Education’s social audit on school safety in the Western Cape.

A total of 912 pupils were surveyed between September and November 2015 about the conditions at 244 schools. Site inspections were also conducted and school administrators were interviewed.

According to the audit:

1. Corporal punishment still takes place at 83% of schools. According to the organisation’s data, physically reprimanding pupils takes place daily in 37% of schools and at least once a week in 59% of schools. A total of 64% of pupils had personally been assaulted or witnessed that of a fellow pupil.

2. A weapon is used at 91% of schools which recorded the use of corporal punishment. The most common was a ruler or small stick which is used at 75% of schools. According to the students, pipes (at 44%) and batons or large sticks (at 11%) are also the norm.

3. Only 47% of schools employ a security guard. In addition, one in six people surveyed said they felt unsafe at school. This, the organisation said, is worse for urban pupils, secondary school pupils, and pupils attending poorer schools.

READ: Many schools discourage pupils to write matric exams - Equal Education

4. Half of urban secondary school pupils at a quintile one school - designated the poorest institutions - feel unsafe. This is double the percentage of pupils attending rural schools who feel the same.

5. Only half of schools have a fence strong enough to keep people from entering the premises. While nearly all of the schools audited have a fence, 16% are below the government required 1.8m while 42% have holes in them. The majority of these are made of wire, while only a fifth consists of sturdy materials like bricks, metal, or concrete, Equal Education found.

6. Ninety-three percent of the schools have an alarm, but of these, 7% are broken. At many of the schools, these alarms are limited to certain areas such as admin blocs and computer labs.

7. CCTV cameras are only present at 28% of the schools - of these, 6% do not work. The organisation argued that the effectiveness of the surveillance cameras in apprehending or deterring offenders is debatable.

8. Sexual assault incidents took place at 16% of the schools in the last year. According to the findings, pupils reported being or seeing someone sexually harassed. For the same period, six of the schools reported a rape which occurred on the premises.

Read more on:    equal education  |  education

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