by Safiyia Stanfley – DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education in the Northern Cape
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Date: 26 September 2018
The Democratic Alliance in the Northern Cape reiterates its call to the MEC for Education, Martha Baartlett, to ensure that collaborative efforts between her department and SAPS to stamp out school violence are formalized as soon as possible to prevent further occurrences.
This comes after the fatal stabbing of a grade 8 pupil at Richmond High School by another grade 8 pupil. Both learners were attending extra classes offered by the school as part of a catch-up programme on Monday. This incident is the third incident in a space of three months.
It is unacceptable that the department’s response is simply to say that parents must teach their children about applying self-respect at all times. For years, the department had failed to launch its school safety initiatives and it has failed to create a safe environment at schools.
Without safe schools and without access to safe learning spaces, learners across the province face a bleak future.
While we appreciate the fact that the department has made counselling services available, it remains another instance where it has done far too little far too late.
The safety and wellbeing of learners should never be taken for granted. Only a DA-led administration can bring the necessary change to ensure that schools are places of learning, not hotbeds of violence.