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South Africa: School Safety Campaign an Eye Opener
Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
Source Date: Monday, October 22, 2012
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Oct 22, 2012

During the last leg of the road show, Andile Gaelesiwe, host of the "Khumbul'ekhaya” TV show and inspirational speaker, led the campaign and was accompanied by leaders from faith-based organisations, psychologists and social workers, who assisted learners that needed support.

 

During the campaign, learners admitted that some of their school mates were using drugs and they were unable to help them to stop and appealed to Gaelesiwe and others to assist them.

 

Some of the learners told Gaelesiwe that drugs were a big issue amongst their peers and that they were readily available to them, which made it more difficult for them to stop using.

 

Gaelesiwe, who also grew up in Jabulani, Soweto, advised learners to focus on their education and enjoy being young because one day, they would take over from the current leaders of the country.

 

“There’s nothing sexier than an educated man,” she said.

 

“We are here because we are worried about you and you are lucky to be surrounded by parents and a government who love you. You don’t need to alter yourself to be liked by everybody.

 

“One day, you are going to take over from us but if you are hooked on drugs, who is going to lead this country? … Respect and love yourself,” Gaelesiwe urged learners.

 

Speaking to SAnews, department spokesperson Charles Phahlane said in 2010, the department adopted a comprehensive school safety strategy with five pillars, which are:

 

       Standardised school policy development and implementation;

       Psycho-social support and promotion of alternative forms of discipline;

       Advocacy programmes;

       Active law enforcement partnerships with the SAPS, Metro Police, Community Policing Forums and Community patrollers; and

       Effectively securing the physical environs of schools.

 

Since the adoption of the strategy, during 2010 and 2011, the department has been fencing schools in a bid to promote safety. School patrollers were also employed to guard the schools 24 hours, seven days a week.

 

“Since these interventions, we have seen a decrease in the number of incidences from 40 to 50 break-ins to six. However, we have realised that having patrollers and fenced schools alone is not enough, and we needed to create awareness to learners and try to change their behaviour.

 

“In June this year, we had camps where we took learners through the issues and tried to give them tools to become better people,” Phahlane said.
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