Lesufi warns Gauteng matrics against 'pens down parties'

2017-11-28 14:28
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi (Christopher Moagi, Daily Sun)

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi (Christopher Moagi, Daily Sun)

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Johannesburg - The conclusion of matric exams are generally marked by parties, drinking and drug use, as most teens celebrate the end of an era.

In recent years, some of the celebrations – known as "pens down parties" – have resulted in deaths, as seen in the Eastern Cape earlier this year, when three pupils were mowed down by a taxi, the Herald reported. 

The Herald reported that the three were part of a group of almost 1 000 pupils who had been at a "pens down" street party in Zwide, Port Elizabeth.

As the party was at its peak when a minibus taxi allegedly ploughed through the crowd at around 01:30, instantly killing two pupils while the other was declared dead on arrival at a hospital.

The Gauteng Department of Education has warned pupils against participating in pens down parties.

"Pens down parties are events where learners, especially Grade 12 learners, celebrate the end of exams. Often these parties lead to tragic incidents. All sorts of ungodly activities are done in such events, including indulging in drugs, unprotected sex, tearing of school uniform, something that needs to be condemned in all fronts," the department said in a statement.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has made an appeal to owners of liquor stores and taverns to take responsibility for preventing school children from buying alcohol on their premises. He pleaded with parents and community members to discourage pens down events, adding that "they have the potential to rob our children off their future endeavours".

Despite a strike by taxi drivers during exams, the department said it was satisfied that the National Senior Certificate examinations had proceeded without any distractions. 

Activities for youth during the holiday period have been arranged. Facilitators, caregivers and site managers for the School Holiday Programme - which will run during the first week of December - have been arranged through the social Ccuster departments, it said

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  johannesburg  |  matric 2017

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