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Violence in schools reflect the kind of communities pupils come from – Free State education dept

The Free State education department has called on parents and the community to work with them to prevent violence in schools.

The Free State education department has called on parents and the community to work with them to prevent violence in schools.

  • The Free State education department has asked parents and communities to help curb violence in schools. 
  • The province has reported several incidents of violence involving pupils in the last few weeks. 
  • The department says violence in schools is a reflection of the communities pupils come from. 

The Free State education department has called on parents and the community to work with them to prevent violence in schools.  

In the past couple of weeks, schools in the province reported several violent incidents involving pupils.  

In the most recent incident, a Grade 5 pupil died after he was stabbed, allegedly by a Grade 6 pupil, during a fight at Kegomoditswe Primary School in Hertzogville. A 13-year-old and an 11-year-old boy appeared in court for the murder on Tuesday. They were due to appear in court again on Thursday.

They are out under parental custody. 

On Tuesday, Free State education spokesperson Howard Ndaba said: “We are concerned about the level of school violence in our schools. The incident where the 13-year-old killed another 13-year-old happened hot on the heels after an incident in Harrismith where a Grade 10 learner was killed by a Grade 11 learner. It also happened a day after a Grade 12 learner stabbed another Grade 12 learner.”

READ | Grade 5 pupil killed, matric pupil stabbed in eye in separate incidents at Free State schools

The matric pupil was stabbed in the eye with a plate by a fellow pupil during dinner time at the matric study camp held at the military base in Bloemfontein,  the department said at the time. The pupils were queuing for their dinner when the alleged perpetrator tried to skip the queue.

Ndaba said the pupil had been allowed to write his matric exams while disciplinary processes continued.  

Societal reflection 

Ndaba said while the department was concerned about violence at schools, they understood that it reflected communities children came from.  

Violence is definitely a concern, but at the end of the day, what is happening is a reflection of our society. These learners are bringing these knives and other illegal items from the communities. Our view is that these problems emanate from the families and communities, and then they end up affecting us as a department.

He said parents and guardians needed to play a bigger role in their children’s education. 

Ndaba said schools had violence deterrent mechanisms like school safety committees made up of parents and, in high school, pupils. 

Schools, he said, were also linked to police stations.

“At the end, communities, stakeholders, parents and learners themselves must come in and play their role so that together we are fighting the issue of school safety; our concern is that where there is violence, there will be no learning and teaching.”

In another incident, Andile Ketso, the principal of Mooifontein School in Zastron, was killed just after 20:00 while walking from Basotho Bricks towards his car last Friday. 

Police were investigating the matter, and no arrests had been made yet. 

Ndaba said: “The incident with the principal happened outside the school. We still don’t know the motive; we still don’t know the alleged perpetrators. Apparently, they didn’t take anything.”


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