Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Rustenburg - The North West Department of Education is hosting a safety summit following recent incidents that threatened the safety of teachers and learners at schools.

"The North West education and sport development have experienced a huge volume of incidents that threatened the safety of teachers and learners at school. Sometimes this resulted in the loss of lives at school which is something that the department opposes very strongly," said acting spokesman Elias Malindi.

The incidents include the death of Mathematics teacher Gadimang Daniel Mokolobate, 24, who was stabbed with a knife by a 17-year-old learner at Ramotshere High School in Dinokana outside Zeerust last year.

The Grade 10 learner stabbed Mokolobate in the chest and was subsequently sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

In a separate incident, a parent attacked a teacher at Leema Primary School in Tlhatlhaganyane outside Rustenburg on February 22.

Itumeleng Lizbeth Letsepe allegedly beat Grade three teacher Mpuseng Sepotokele with an umbrella at the school gate as she wanted to "teach her a lesson".

Letsepe was arrested for assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm and was granted R2,000 bail. Her case was postponed to June 20 for investigation.

At Mateane Primary School in Diretsane, a learner was stabbed to death, allegedly by another learner, who used a pair of scissors in the attack on February 26.

"In addressing challenges of school safety the department resolved in hosting a provincial school safety summit and it will provide a platform for debate and reaching amicable solutions to ensure improved safety measures in schools," Malindi said.
 
"It also has the potential of increasing the number of stakeholder participation in school governance as their participation is almost non-existent,"  Malindi said.

The summit would seek to understand the perceptions and experiences of educational stakeholders and social partners with regards to safety and learner discipline in public schools. It will further examine challenges of school safety and disciplinary policy development, implementation and to review learner and educator disciplinary measures."

The summit in Rustenburg started on Tuesday and was expected to last until Wednesday.

African News Agency/ANA