Minister Motshekga urges learners to seek help when facing challenges

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Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has called on parents and NGOs to work with educators to address the rising number of student deaths.

The minister, accompanied by Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane, was addressing learners at Eqinisweni Secondary School in Ivory Park, Midrand, where four learners have died in two weeks, allegedly by suicide.

The three girls and one boy died between 26 April and 4 May.

Since the beginning of the year, at least 90 learners have lost their lives in Gauteng alone due to various issues.  This has left parents deeply concerned.

Depression, anxiety, social and peer pressure, and cyberbullying are all contributing factors that teens are forced to deal with daily – leading school pupils to commit suicide or contemplate death.

Motshekga says life always comes with challenges but taking one’s life is not the solution.

“We heard reports about what happened with all four learners, unplanned pregnancies. We must deal with the psycho-social problems. As a community we need to support the schools and the children, we must pull together all resources with all NGO and government branches.

“So we are here to extend our condolences, we have spoken to teachers, leadership and the community. We want to tell you that we love you. Nothing is as important in any nation as its children”, says Motshekga.