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Safety at our schools is a national crisis

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Safety at schools is a recurring issue and one that needs to be addressed

Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Safety at schools has once again come under the spotlight with the murder of a pupil at Forest High School in Johannesburg, and reports that a teacher had been shot dead at a school in Durban.

Unfortunately, safety at schools is a recurring issue and one that needs to be addressed not only by the Department of Education but by the communities in which these schools find themselves in.

Last year, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said the real threat to pupils and teachers came from within the schools.

“The threats are internal. That’s why we have to sit down with the governing body to say if you find a child perhaps with an instrument, the law must allow us … we will expel them.

“We need to find ways of helping the child. Kids bring guns to school. It’s not external threats, it’s internal.”

Schools that experience violent incidents need to set up safety committees to monitor the violence and to recommend measures that can prevent future incidents.

The levels of violence at schools in the country is a national crisis and not just an educational crisis.

Understanding the root causes of the violence must include all stakeholders, including parents.