Most parents in South Africa would allow their children to walk to school, according to the results of a survey conducted by Statistics SA and reported by IOL. Only 14.7% of parents responded that they wouldn’t allow their kids to walk alone.
The figure is part of a crime-perception survey which revealed that, despite rampant crime, 40% of South Africans are convinced that crime levels have dropped.
The “walk to school alone” statistic is an interesting measurement of neighbourhood safety, as it explores the levels of confidence parents have in both their children and their neighbourhoods.
Many children go to the schools closest to their houses, according to government regulations which require those schools to accept them, although there are still many children who commute, cycle or walk to school.
Almost everyone has a horror story to tell their friends over dinner: we know someone who knows someone whose child was mugged, accosted, raped or intimidated on their way to school. Perhaps it even happened within your family.
Some parents even refuse to walk those same roads on their own, for fear of being approached by criminals.
Do you think it’s ok for children to walk to school?