By Jane Sithole MPL, DA Spokesperson on Education:
The DA extends its heartfelt condolences to the family of the 12 year old boy who was killed at Khul’ufunde Primary School in Kwaggafontein earlier this week.
According to media reports, the 12 year old learner was stabbed by a 13 year old boy in grade 6 following an argument they had over the weekend. It is alleged that the fight continued into the week where the 13-year-old withdrew an okapi knife and stabbed the victim in the chest while they were at school.
Last year, a similar incident took place at another school in Kwaggafontein which resulted in the death of a learner.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has noted that safety and non-violence are critical requirements for the achievement of educational outcomes in South African Schools and has listed some of the following as effective strategies to address violence at schools;
- having manageable class sizes;
- training teachers to identify aggressive learners;
- building relationships with the communities within which schools are located
- having access to school counsellors or social workers, which is important in providing psycho-social support;
- having accountable school management;
- building a human rights culture in schools to make everyone feel welcomed.
While the Provincial Department of Education has made some inroads in implementing the provincial integrated school safety plan, more must still be done to prevent such tragedies from taking place. Education MEC Reginah Mhaule must ensure that the strategies proposed by the Department of Basic Education are implemented and not compromised.
Every child deserves to be educated in a safe environment that enables them to be the best that they can be. The DA will continue the fight to ensure that learners are protected from all forms of violence at schools so they can focus on their education.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased in this difficult time.