Department of Basic Education Launches Campaign To Tackle Bullying In Schools

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Bullying in schools is a prevailing issue that affects youths throughout South African schools. The Department of Basic Education has made an active effort to recognise and condemn emotional, verbal and physical violence against children in schools.

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The South African Department of Basic Education (DBE) recognises the detrimental effect that at-school bullying and violence has on students’ rights to education, health and wellbeing. This comes in the wake of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) Member States declaring the first Thursday of November as the International Day against Violence and Bullying at School. 

The day was dedicated to the condemnation and active prevention of violence in schooling environments and highlighting the need to foster safe learning environments. It called upon UN Member States, organizations, education communities and partners, learners, parents, teachers, and more to do their part in eliminating bullying from schooling environments.

In light of the effort against bullying, the DBE condemns states that:

Bullying has no part in our schools, and we are committed to eradicating it.

They urge schools to adhere to the South African Schools Act 84 and develop clear codes of conduct and disciplinary committees to appropriately discipline and investigate cases of bullying and safety threats in schools. 

The National Department began an Inter-Departmental Campaign aimed at the “prevention of violence, bullying, corporal punishment, school-related gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy and drug and substance abuse in schools” in six provinces. The provinces include Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North-West, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

The Deputy Ministers of Basic Education, South African Police Service, Social Development, Justice and Constitutional Development, Correctional Services, Home Affairs, Health and Communications and Digital Technologies (DC & DT), are all working in collaboration at the helm of the campaign. 

The campaign also includes a collaboration between the DC & DT and the Films Publication Board (FPB). The collaboration intends to spread awareness of cyberbullying, child trafficking and online sexual grooming in schools. 

The DBE also asserts that curriculum delivery in schools entails equipping students with peaceful conflict management approaches through the Life Orientation subject. Students are also encouraged to stand up against and be able to report bullying, while schools are encouraged to start committees that empower students to speak out about bullying and allow them the comfort to know that their concerns will be heard.

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School learners working together in a classroom.

School bullying is an issue that has been plaguing the Education Department for years. The problem has grown, making it unbearable for learners who see no way out. 


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