Durban - If schools allow smoke breaks during lessons, what will pupils want next? This was the question put forward by the DA’s spokesperson on education, Dr Imran Keeka. 

Earlier this week, a high school in Umzinto revealed that pupils had demanded to be given a smoke break at school. 

Keeka said this should not be tolerated. 

“While the education system has to put up with this, parents also need to step up and put an end to all manner of discipline issues that plague our schools.

In this particular instance, the learners should know that not only is their request ludicrous, their actions of stopping learning and teaching - so close to their matric exams – is disturbing and potentially illegal,” he said. 

Keeka said schools are smoke free zones. Furthermore, cigarettes should not be sold to those under the age of 18. 

“If anyone over this age is found to be bringing or using tobacco products on the school premises, they must therefore be held accountable for contravening the department policy as well as the law. Those selling to youngsters should be held accountable,” he said. 

Keeka said such ill-discipline, particularly at this crucial time of the academic year must be condemned and harshly dealt with.

Spokesperson for the Department of Education in KZN, Kwazi Mthethwa, has said the request will never be met. 

The Mercury