Khume Ramulifho, MPL
DA Gauteng Education spokesman
The DA in Gauteng wants Education MEC Barbara Creecy to set minimum working standards for Community School Patrollers across the province. This follows complaints received by the DA from patrollers who haven’t received their stipends for the past four months.
The community school patrollers are not insured despite their dangerous working environment with schools increasingly targeted by criminals. Appalling working conditions are likely to lead to repeats of an incident in May this year where a patroller was found dead in Tiakeni Primary School in Tshiawelo. At the same school an Extended School Support Program (ESSP) staff member was stabbed while on duty.
The working conditions of school patrollers are unacceptable, having to guard schools without the necessary facilities, such as guardrooms, available. Some patrollers work 30 days per month without leave because only two are placed per school.
According to reports some patrollers are paid R1 500 stipend while others are paid R4 000 per month. There are no clear criteria for determining or justifying this discrepancy.
Similarly there are no guidelines to determine how many patrollers are deployed to schools, what informs the allocation, with some schools having two patrollers, others have five, and some having none at all. The DA asked questions about this during the budget debate, but no answers have been forthcoming. I will accordingly submit formal questions for written reply to the MEC asking for the details on the working conditions of community school patrollers and the guidelines governing their deployment.
The Gauteng Education Department must ensure that patrollers are adequately equipped and protected. Community school patrollers fulfil an important role in ensuring that teaching and learning takes place in a safe and secure environment.