Child safety in schools has yet again become a topic of conversation among unions. This comes after a 16-year-old boy was stabbed to death by a 14-year-old from a neighbouring school in Alexandra on Thursday this past week.
Although the incident occurred at a private household, it followed just three weeks after a 15-year-old pupil fatally stabbed a 16-year-old fellow pupil to death at school in Alexandra.
NAPTOSA's Managing Director, Basil Manuel says that there needs to be a more collaborative approach between parents and the basic education department in combating the issue of violence in schools.
He suggests that interventions such as having more counsellors in schools would go a long way in teaching children that violence is not a meaningful solution to any of their problems.
The weakness with the education department is the lack of councillors in our schools. Our children have problems, our children in a violent society, they think that violence is the answer to everything. Unless there are interventions there, we sit with a problem, teachers need to know what to do and how to do it, parents need to be involved and so without this triumphant of these three groups working together we are going to find a solution.
For its part, the National Association for School Governing Bodies says that communities must understand the importance of their role in teaching children about disciplined behaviour.
Matakanye adds that as part of School Governing Bodies, parents should perhaps consider forming safety committees that are comprised of various stakeholders, such as parents, teachers, members of police which then drafts laws to be adhered to.
As school governing bodies we also have to blame ourselves because we don't form these committees to ensure that our schools are safe. And must be a lesson to us School Governing Bodies to say that we must strengthen those committees and ensure that they apply the law.
Manuel, on the other hand, says that although he agrees with Matakanye's view that communities need to be more involved and that part of the key solution is to deal with attitudes, adding that one of the main weaknesses is that our society normalizes violence.
He adds that not all is lost as there are more good people than those who turn their back on schools, and those are the people who can teach the values of safety in schools.