Department Choses Reconciliatory Approach After School Violence

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The education department has received an independent report with recommendations that should be implemented to prevent further occurrences of racism and sexism at a Randfontein school.  

 


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In February, police fired stun grenades at pupils and community members gathered at the Hoerskool Jan Viljoen to protest how the school was being run and its lack of response in dealing with complaints. Incidents of racism is believed to have sparked the protest.

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) says they have received the recommendations made in the report will be consolidated with a previous report of sexual harassment and an outstanding report from the South African Human Right Commission.

This will be so that the department can assist the school implement recommendations to ensure that further occurrences of racism and sexism are prevented.

Luke Enslin from the  Specialised Security Services, a private company which was tasked with investigating what transpired at the school in February, presented the findings and recommendations of the report. The company conducted interviews and received statements from various parties during their investigation.

The independent report recommended that disciplinary action be taken against the identified and newly identified learners who were part of the fight. They also called on the school to establish a grievance committee to manage conflict and prevent it from spiralling out of control.

The implementation of diversity programmes and training for different learners to understand each other better and not necessitate violence and fighting was also recommended.

The GDE also noted complaints of ill discipline from learners since the fight occurred.

They said,  “Such conduct will not be tolerated in our schools, and we urge parents to instil discipline in their children. Ill-disciplined behaviour from learners will undermine all the efforts that are being made to bring change to the school”.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said the department chose to take a reconciliatory, unifying, and non-racial South Africa approach.

“Those that want to reverse the reconciliation and social cohesion agenda, and everything that we have done to build this South Africa will be isolated because the majority wants to live in a country where we all respect each other’s rights,” warned Lesufi.

 

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