Cape Town - Crime in the area has resulted in some matrics of Lavender Hill High being moved to write their exams elsewhere.
About 130 matric pupils will be transported and accommodated at Kuilsriver CTLI Centre on Tuesday, where they will write their June exams.
The school believes the pupils will not be exposed to a conducive learning environment. This comes after there was a spike in gang warfare in Lavender Hill last month, forcing closure of four schools.
Jessica Shelver, the spokesperson for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said that in 2015, Lavender Hill High School achieved a pass rate of 83.8% and in 2016 had a pass rate of 68.8%.
She said the sound of gunshots could traumatise the pupils.
The Department of Education will be funding the cost of transportation, accommodation and catering.
Lavender Hill High School principal Faseeg Manie said everything was back to normal at other schools and they had extra security.
“Although violence in the area has been reduced owing to police visibility, there is still instability. We are doing everything in our power to remove them from all distractions, having to duck and dive bullets when coming to school and going back home does affect the pass rate."
"They deserve quality education. The first port of learning is the physical environment. Sending them to that facility will also create interaction between the pupils and teachers, as they will sleep there.”
A gang leader who was a parent of one of the matrics was shot not far from the school on Tuesday night.
This disturbed the Grade 12 pupils, and as a result, an exam had to be cancelled.
Patrick Solomons, the director of child rights group Molo Songololo, said children living in areas where they hear gunshots on a daily basis had mixed feelings.
At school, they were taught that violence was wrong but when they went back in their community, it was a normal thing, he said.
“These mixed emotions can cause stress and frustration in them, leading to them being severely damaged. Mostly in the Cape Flats areas, the children mimic violence, drop out of school and join gangs," said Solomons.
"This also leads to poor pass rates. It is really unfair and sad that children have to live in fear and end up joining gangs as they want to protect themselves. We have a big crisis.”
Solomons said long-term solutions were needed to address the threats.
There was also a need to prioritise and mobilise sufficient resources so that interventions could be sustained, he said.