The DBE takes school safety very seriously and the Department has therefore put in place various policies and measures to ensure the safety of all learners, educators and relevant stakeholders in schools. The Department reiterates that there is no place for violence, drug abuse, sexual harassment and other criminal acts in schools as it poses a serious barrier to learning. Learners become victims of school violence because it takes place in the classroom or on the school grounds. When violence occurs at schools it negatively affects learning and teaching and learners become vulnerable. Learners who experience or witness incidents of violence may become depressed and this may negatively affect their ability to advance academically. School violence may also have negative implications for learner retention and contribute to increased drop-out rates.
The Director for School Safety, Mr Paseka Njobe, said that the Department has a solid partnership with the South African Police Service (SAPS) which is aimed at linking schools with their local police stations; and that functional School Safety Committees and other social crime prevention strategies and programmes are in place. “Schools are critical in instilling discipline and ensuring safety, thus the emphasis on the Codes of Conduct for Learners at all public schools. Schools are therefore directly responsible for providing an environment conducive to the delivery of quality teaching and learning by, among other things, promoting the rights and safety of all learners and teachers. It is important for parents and communities to actively participate in addressing and promoting school safety. Parents and communities are well positioned to see to it that children are safe wherever they are. The Department will continue in earnest to protect the rights of all children in schools. The success of these efforts rely largely on the collective efforts of parents and communities to work together with schools to ensure that all children are safe and realise their full academic potential,” concluded Mr Njobe.
The National School Safety Framework has been developed to serve as a management tool for provincial and district officials responsible for school safety, school principals, School Governing Body members, teachers and learners to identify and manage risks and threats of violence in and around schools and, in terms of the Regulations for Safety Measures at all Public Schools, the Minister has declared all public schools as drug and dangerous weapon free zones.
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