NEWS & ANALYSIS

Unsafe schools robbing our children of their human rights - Ian Ollis

DA MP says learner stabbed a school mate at Mbhekwana High School, Tzaneen, last month

Unsafe schools are robbing our children of their human rights

Note to Editors: The statement below follows the DA’s oversight visit to Mbhekwana High School, Tzaneen. Pictures of the oversight visit can be accessed herehere, and here.

Today, DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education, Ian Ollis MP, Mopani District Constituency Head, Lindy Wilson MP, and the councillor of N’wamitwa and Nkambako, Ngoako Mohonone, met with the staff of Mbhekwana High School in Tzaneen and the school’s Head of Department, F.J Sithole.

The oversight visit follows the incident last month where one learner stabbed a school mate. The incident is reportedly gang-related. The principal has since visited the learner at hospital. Police in the area were allegedly warned about gang activity around the schools by the victim’s uncle last year, but no action has been taken.

The social problems of this community cannot be solved by the police all alone and this is why the DA has called on the departments of Justice, Social Development, Police and Basic Education to work together on bringing an end to this crisis. They all have a role to play in ending violence at schools.

We therefore urge members of the public to co-sign our letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa, demanding collaborative action to ensure safe schools. The letter can be signed at www.protectourchildren.co.za.

It is unfair to expect children to perform to the best of their abilities when violence and gangsterism are given room to thrive in schools.

Learners should be focused on improving their future so they can contribute positively to South Africa. For this to happen, schools must be made safe immediately.

Statement issued by Ian Ollis, DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education, 23 March 2018