Education portfolio committee calls for safety in schools

Rajaa Azzakani

The chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Basic Education Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba has expressed shock and sadness at the death of a 14-year-old learner, who was allegedly stabbed to death by another learner at Thuto Tiro Comprehensive School in Sebokeng this week.

  Mbinqo-Gigaba extended condolences to the family, friends and community, where the young learner died.

  The young learner was allegedly stabbed to death in a classroom with a pair of scissors by a fellow 15-year-old learner. 

  According to media reports, the schoolboy was stabbed in the chest and was declared dead at the school. The incident happened in front of other learners and staff.

  “Although according to a recent presentation by the Department of Basic Education to the committee on violence in school, statistics seemed to be on the decline, I am extremely concerned about such incidents in our schools. One life lost, is one life too many,” said Mbinqo-Gigaba.

  She said education is a societal matter, one that all South Africans should play an active role in, to ensure that schools remain safe spaces.

  “What is happening in schools is a reflection of the society in which pupils live. This violence tends to play itself out on school grounds when learners think violence is the only way to solve problems or to address challenges,” added Mbinqo-Gigaba.

  She urged the relevant authorities to ensure that trauma counselling services are provided to learners and staff.

  “We call on all role-players and stakeholders to play an active role in keeping our schools safe in order for them to be conducive to quality education and learning,” she said.

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