COMMENT

AfriForum releases safety guide for schools

This has been made necessary by rise of political demonstrations outside school premises

AfriForum releases safety guide for schools

23 January 2019

The civil rights organisation AfriForum is excited to launch a new school safety guide in cooperation with AfriForum’s education and community safety divisions.

This new school safety guide will enable schools to ensure that they have the necessary and correct safety measures in place so that schools can be prepared, and learners and teachers be safe in an emergency.

“It became clear once again during the Hoërskool Overvaal events in 2018 as well as many demonstrations at schools across the country in 2019 that safety measures for schools should urgently be evaluated critically. We have found that schools are in many cases not prepared to handle such incidents and we therefore compiled the guide,” says Carien Bloem, Project Coordinator for Education at AfriForum.

“Aspects that the guide takes under review include for example ensuring that the school’s fences are of an effective height and made from durable material that cannot be destroyed easily, as well as to ensure that there are adequate emergency exits and fire extinguishers. There is a myriad of safety aspects that one can forget about, but that have the potential to create serious problems in an emergency situation,” Bloem says.

“By publishing this guide, AfriForum wants to empower schools to act proactively by performing audits in terms of the security of the school and learners, and to put measures in place to improve the safety of learners in these schools,” says Ian Cameron, Head of Community Safety at AfriForum.

Members of AfriForum’s community safety division will visit schools during AfriForum’s anchor towns roadshow to ensure that these schools have the correct safety measure in place. The roadshow will happen between February 2019 and November 2019.

AfriForum invites schools, parents and teachers to send an SMS to 42314 if there is a need to visit the schools in their communities. 

“AfriForum’s community safety division wants to become involved in towns and schools in cooperation with our members to safeguard our schools and communities,” Cameron says.

The guide is available in Afrikaans and English, and exists to safeguard all schools. It is the right of every learner and teacher to receive quality education in a safe environment,” Bloem concludes. 

Schools can apply for an audit to be done at this link: https://www.afriforum.co.za/skoleveiligheidsgids/ (in Afrikaans; the English platform will be available later today)

Statement issued by Carien Bloem, Project Coordinator: Education, AfriForum, and Ian Cameron, Head: Community Safety, AfriForum, 23 January 2019