School violence is escalating despite the measures put in place to address the problem by the Department of Education (DoE).
Both teachers and students appear justified in fearing for their own safety with the consequence that the learning process is stymied by the need to deal with unruly behaviours and to prevent serious episodes of aggression and violence.
The recent disturbing video circulating on social media that shows a grade 10 girl being slapped multiple times at one of the best performing schools in the country – Mbilwi Secondary School – in Sibasa outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo is horrifying. We have now learned with shock that Lufuno Mavhunga, who was filmed being bullied at school, reportedly committed suicide because she was bullied, beaten and mocked in front of fellow students could be heard laughing and clapping in the background. This is regrettable, and we are all mortified by these developments.
The Each One Teach One Foundation sends out its sincere condolences to the family of the diseased. Nothing will bring back to life Lufuno Mavhunga, and we should as a country do better to protect the lives of children and create safe spaces for learning. The arrest of a 15-year-old schoolgirl (perpetrator) who allegedly assaulted Lufuno Mavhunga, should also be dealt with in accordance with the Child Justice Act, which places great emphasis on the assessment of children in conflict with the law soon after they are accused of committing an offence in ensuring their circumstances are taken into account.
As schools remain a microcosm of the society in which they operate and that the changes and ills that beset these environments also spill over into or are manifested in the school system, we call on the Department of Education (DoE) to:
Increase South African school social work in order to anticipate violence and school bullying and, intervene early enough to avoid death of leaners.
Schools must be capacitated with conflict resolution mechanisms in order to constantly help resolve school ground and class related conflicts by learners.
The Department of Basic Education as part of its curriculum or school structure should provide adequate infrastructure for learners to have support against bullying. Schools should have dedicated teachers who are trained as life coaches whereby phycological specialists will be able to identify such incidents and deal with them decisively.
Mzukona Mantshontsho is the founder of Nyakaza Media Solutions. Nyakaza Media Solutions is an organisation that was established to help community organisations, business entities, and schools to research, write, document, report, analyse, edit, publish newsletters or bulletins in hard-copy, on-line and maintain websites with the relevant content as per the editorial policy of that organisation, school or entity.
Nyakaza Media Solutions has a vision to promote and bring dialogue to communities, businesses and schools about issues that affect them.
Nyakaza Media Solutions is on a mission to develop and encourage communities, businesses and learners to celebrate the good, applaud excellence, welcome growth, strive to be better individuals, businesses and communities, want more knowledge, discourage bad and counter-productive behaviour as well as communities, businesses and learners that want to be great SOUTH AFRICANS.
Nyakaza Media Solutions is making use of Yo School Magazine as a platform that learners in all schools to make use of to write their stories.