How do we make our schools safer?
We’re all shocked about the death of Charlton Karuweruwe a grade one learner who was stabbed to death in the toilets at Dikeledi Makapan Primary School . Another learner or teacher doesn’t have to die before we do something about unsafe schools.
If enough of us make a noise we can get the MEC of education Sello Lehari to make a commitment that by the first day of Term 2 in 2019 after schools open, there is security in place in all schools in North West, starting with Dikeledi Makapan Primary School.
Whenever a learner or teacher is killed or injured, condolences are sent by the Department of Education, and the school is visited. But does this change anything? Earlier this year a school teacher was stabbed to death by a learner at a school in Zeerust . A School Safety Summit was then held by the department but this didn’t prevent 7 year old Charlton Karuweruwe from being stabbed to death. On SABC news North West Department of Education spokesperson Freddy Sepeng said the department was doing “...everything we could” and had been “..campaigning for safety, and now in 2 weeks time we will be having what we call a safety summit, whereby all stakeholders will be attending and share about the safety of the learners, the safety of our teachers..” .
amandla.mobi confirmed with the department that this summit has now been postponed to January next year. Even if it does happen, will anything change? North West MEC Sello Lehari visited Charlton Karuweruwe’s school and shifted the blame stating that it’s the responsibility of the school to ensure there is security in place and that the school has been given a budget to ensure that “minor” things such as security are covered .
But the truth is that it’s the responsibility of the North West Department of Education to hold their employees to account and ensure schools have safety in place. We don’t need another summit because we already have rules in place to ensure school safety. How do we make our schools safer? . What MEC Lehari needs to do is ensure all Principals have appointed a School Safety Office and functioning School Safety Committee who are resourced and carrying out searches and seizures as per section 4(3) of GG No. 22754 of October 2001 of the Regulations for Safety Measures at Public Schools .
Dear MEC of Education Sello Lehari,
We the undersigned call on you make a commitment to ensure that all schools in North West are safe so that our children can learn in a secure and safe environment. We stand in solidarity with everyone who is worried about the violence and lack of safety in schools, and with the parents of learners who are worried about well being of their children.
We demand that by the first day of Term 2 after schools have opened in 2019, all schools in the North West have fences, everyone is searched when entering the school and if necessary there is a trained security guard to assist teachers at the school.
You should consider each of the undersigned names as an individual submission.
 Grade 1 learner stabbed to death in North West, Nico Gous for TimesLive, 21 November 2018.
 Zeerust high school pupil arrested for stabbing his teacher to death, Nico Gous for TimesLive, 13 September 2018.
 NW education mec says school responsible for safety after learner stabbed, Robinson Nqola for ewn, 23 November 2018.
 School violence how can we make the classroom a safe haven for learning Puseletso Nthate for dailymaverick, 28 August 2017.
 Section 4(3) of GG No. 22754 of October 2001 of the Regulations for Safety Measures at Public Schools.