Government, stakeholders to meet over rising levels of violence in schools

2018-09-22 09:28
School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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Government is calling on all stakeholders to come together and address the escalating levels of violence in schools.

"Violence in schools is a societal problem which requires all stakeholders to play their part to create a safe schooling environment," acting director of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Phumla Williams said in a statement on Friday.

This comes after a series of shocking incidents involving students targeting teachers with violence reported at schools across the country.

"Violence [targeting] teachers is a serious problem that demands the immediate attention of parents, churches, civil society and all stakeholders in the education sector," Williams added.

Last week News24 reported that a 17-year-old boy was facing a murder charge for stabbing and killing his teacher.

According to police, the incident happened after 11:00 on Thursday. The teacher, aged 24, was in a classroom when the pupil allegedly walked in and stabbed him, News24 reported at the time.

News24 also reported on another pupil last week who was recorded assaulting a bus driver in a video that went viral.

Appeal to parents

The attack was condemned by the Mpumalanga department of education.

"The department condemns an incident where a 19-year-old learner from Hoërskool Oosterland assaulted a bus driver on Thursday, 12 September 2018, afternoon on their way home," department spokesperson Jasper Zwane said at the time.

As a result, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has called an urgent meeting with the education sector.

"The meeting will discuss how different key stakeholders in the education sector can work together with communities to ensure that we arrest the growing unacceptable behavior at our schools. Communication and engagement with learners is key to building a conducive schooling environment," Williams explained.

Government recognises teachers as having a valuable and significant role to play in the development of society.

"We cannot sit back and allow attacks on teachers to continue. Schools are meant to be safe for both learners and teachers. Government further reiterates that lawlessness will not be tolerated in our schools," Williams added.

Government has also appealed to parents to play their role in ensuring children are disciplined at school.

Read more on:    education

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