KwaZulu-Natal pupils have been warned not to take part in a viral TikTok #SchoolsChallenge that has seen learners climbing on building roofs and teachers’ vehicles.
The provincial education authorities are urging the learners to use their data by focusing on online educational material that can help improve their school work.
The TikTok #SchoolsChallenge started in January as a #SchoolbagChallenge which saw learners using various household items and supermarket trolleys to carry their schoolbooks. It also spread to some children coming to school dressed in their parents clothes.
However, at the beginning of February the challenge gained momentum. Learners are now dancing on top of teachers’ vehicles and on top school roofs to showcase their newly invented backpacks.
@mrpartywiththeenglish #schoolbagchallenge ♬ original sound - ABUTI 3 PIECE.🚨![CDATA]>💃![CDATA]>🏽
KwaZulu-Natal Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said: “Learners are busy vandalising schools infrastructure and teachers' cars following a TikTok challenge that may put their lives in danger. Even worse, now they climb on top of the roofs that they are not even sure how strong they are. These actions pose danger in their lives because what if the roof collapses with a learner and they get injured or die? I have also seen a video of learners pulling the teacher's car wipers of, which is wrong.”
On Monday it was reported that pupils from at least five high schools in Durban embarked on the challenge. It is alleged that the pupils illegally gathered in groups, stoned vehicles, disrupted classes and damaged school property.
The reports said one of the motives behind the behaviour was linked to the TikTok challenge.
Mahlambi said: “We are urging parents to work with us in trying to stop this chaos because these challenges are dangerous and they waste school time as learners focus on taking these videos instead of focusing on their schoolwork. Learners must use their data in doing their school.”