It is every body’s responsibility to ensure learners are not exposed to violence in any manner. This is the view of a panel from various stakeholders on school violence, briefing the media in Pretoria.

The stakeholders include Equal Education, FEDSAS, SA Police Service (SAPS), National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) and Catholic Institute of Education.

Tuesday’s briefing came after the stabbing to death of a 16-year-old Forest High School learner. Two other learners were also attacked and hospitalised.

Earlier this month, a 16-year-old was stabbed to death by a fellow pupil at a school in Ga-Mamabolo, outside Polokwane. In March, a 13-year-old girl was stabbed in the bathroom at the Tlhabane Technical School in Tlhabane.

NAPTOSA president Basil Manuel says, “We recognise that there are things that we can do, but especially there are those easy wins and part of the easy wins are about attending to infrastructure issues that may create a physical barrier, but it creates the feeling of safety and safety is first a feeling before there is anything else. Then two, the appropriate training of people and I know that we will talk about money soon, however, we must start with the right people.”

Meanwhile, SAPS General Major Thokozani Mathonsi says due to the working protocol between the police and the Basic Education Department, there are positives.

“As a result of that protocol, we link the schools to the police station. To date, we have linked more than 20 000 schools to the police stations. Secondly, as a result of that protocol, we also appointed dedicated school liaison officers whose job is to make sure that they go to the schools and educate the kids about the crime. Run the awareness programmes at schools and a host of other programmes.”

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