Many learners from different schools in Orange Farm south of Johannesburg have acknowledged being victims of bullying. This after the Basic Education Department launched an anti-bullying campaign in the area on Friday.
The aim of the nationwide initiative is to eradicate bullying at schools.
The launch comes after 15-year-old Limpopo learner, Lufuno Mavhunga, killed herself after a video showing her being bullied by another learner went viral on social media last month.
Bullying can take many forms at schools. It can be physical, emotional, or even cyber-bullying.
Grade 10 learner shown being assaulted on video has committed suicide:
These learners say they don’t bother to report bullying because authorities don’t take their concerns seriously.
“Some of the boys at school come with knives where they try to fight with each other. They take some of our school bags and go sell our books in the streets. When we report it does not go anywhere and when we tell teachers, teachers are also scared because some of the boys bring their gangs to school. Some of us are even scared to go to school because we are the victims of bullying. And being bullied is not good.”
Friday’s launch was aimed at encouraging learners to report bullying. It was also aimed at raising awareness about drug use at schools.
Learners from different schools in the area participated in the event.
A 2014 study on bullying by the Basic Education Department in Gauteng found that physical bullying in secondary schools stood at 34.1% and cyberbullying on 46.1%. This learner says they don’t even bother to report bullying because nothing changes.
Basic Education to introduce awareness programmes against bullying in schools
Parents urged to monitor cellphones
Parents have been urged to monitor their children’s cellphones to prevent cyberbullying and also to establish if their children are experiencing some form of bullying.
Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Regina Mhaule says they will be going around the country to address bullying.
“Today we are here to say bullying is not allowed in our schools. Because after you have bullied, you have lost your freedom. You are no longer free like other children. We, as government, take care of both the victim and the perpetrator because most of the perpetrators in schools are young individuals who cannot be treated as adults in court.”
Mhaule says the issue of bullying is deeply rooted and it needs to be addressed at homes and schools.
Basic Education says families, communities needed in intervention