DA wants action plan for soaring Gauteng learner misconduct

Mike Moriarty MPL

Spokesperson on Finance

Incidents of misconduct by Gauteng learners have soared in the past two years, with an increase from 66 in 2011 to 228 recorded cases in the past year ending on 31 March, 2013.

In response to my question in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Education MEC Barbara Creecy revealed the alarming increase in the number of cases of misconduct by learners as defined by Schedule 2 of the regulations in terms of the Schools Act. (A copy of the reply is available upon request).

Two years ago there were 118 cases, the year after that there were 66 but in this past year ending 31 March 2013 there were 228 recorded cases.

The offences were not disaggregated but the types covered would include drug abuse, sexual offences and malicious damage to property.

The picture created by the MEC’s reply is one of an increasing lawlessness among learners across Gauteng.

The DA will demand an effective plan of action and a return to a normal school environment; one conducive to proper learning.

The Department must also indicate how teachers are being equipped to deal with these issues. The Department has a responsibility to parents, students, the school and community at large to fulfil its role and responsibilities in equipping educators and school management to deal with increasing learner misconduct.

Regrettably the MEC’s response does not give any picture of the level of bullying that may or may not be taking place. The reply also gave no indication as regards cyber-bullying. The DA will ask follow up questions in respect of these.

If the DA was in charge there would be a safe and effective learning environment in Gauteng schools. Learners would get an opportunity to reach high academic standards in a safe and trouble-free institution.

Every child has the right to a decent education that will unlock the job opportunities still denied to so many. The DA’s plan for education will do exactly this.