Communities again call for safety at schools

The safety of all members of any school family including School Governing Bodies (SGBs), school management, principals, educators and student bodies has again become a point of reference in community circles around the country.
And the fact that there has been no improvement in school safety in the country since the call was made last year by concerned groupings worried about ongoing incidents of violence at learning institutions across the nation is in itself greatly worrisome.
Incidents of violence at schools are in fact escalating and this behaviour has become fashionable with students as small as between six and 13 years seemingly getting joy out of violent behaviour and getting involved in unnecessary fights.


Several incidents this week involving school children made newspaper headlines and circulated in social media when reports announced that five teenagers had been arrested after videos of the brutal beating and murder of a man went viral in Limpopo.
In the second incident which left the entire nation in total shock, a 13-year-old boy stabbed another youngster aged 12 to death with a pair of scissors at a primary school in Atamelang Village the Ratlou municipal district.
In another happening also in the North West, a learner stabbed a female teacher with an umbrella.
In the Limpopo incident the five boys aged between 15 and 16 years were arrested for the murder of 28-year-old Thorisho Themane who was brutally beaten to death assaulting him as he lay on the ground and bleeding profusely. One member of the group, a grade 9 learner said his father who was a retired police officer was untouchable
In the North West village, police acted swiftly to arrest the youngster who had stabbed another learner in the chest on Tuesday afternoon while at school. They had apparently asked for permission to go to the toilet when a fight broke out involving another student. The victim reportedly intervened but was stabbed. Education MEC Sello Lehari visited the school yesterday (Wednesday) to get first hand information about what happened.
All these are very serious criminal incidents and unfortunately parents of all these students who are still very young to be facing possible jail sentences (if found guilty or murder) will be held responsible for the behaviour of their children whose upbringing will also be questioned by public opinion.
The department of education will also have to face whatever criticism from communities who will also hold them responsible for not doing enough to protect learners and educators alike through effective school safety measures.
The less said about the alleged rape of a 9-year-old boy at the much talked- about Curro Academy in Mahikeng the better. The incident two weeks ago also points to safety of learners at institutions of learning as this according to reports happened while the boy was waiting for his transport to go home after school.
The ANC Women’s League and Young Women Desk expressed shock at the incident which left the Mahikeng public and education fraternity speechless. They have called for the speedy arrest of the culprit and offered any possible support to the student and his family. We are equally shocked and will only rest if the culprit is behind bars serving a lengthy jail term.