The Western Cape Education Department has called for an end to learners' "irresponsible behaviour" on Guy Fawkes Day. File picture: Jeffrey Abrahams/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Cape Town - The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has called for an end to learners' "irresponsible behaviour" on Guy Fawkes Day. 

Dangerous behaviour include throwing stockings filled with paint at motor vehicles and smearing fellow learners with paint. In previous years, it has been reported that these resulted in injuries to innocent learners and bystanders.

"As a result of this irresponsible behaviour, there is an increased absenteeism in certain schools during this period, since some learners do not attend school in order to participate in these irresponsible and potentially dangerous activities. Others do not attend school through fear of being targeted either to or from school," said Provincial Education Minister Debbie Schafer in a statement.

The WCED has requested an increase in visible presence from South African Police Service and the City of Cape Town Law Enforcement.

Guy Fawkes message from Provincial Education Minister, Debbie Schafer. Video: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

The department has also called on parents to ensure that their children attend school on 5 November 2019, which will be a normal teaching and learning day where normal school hours apply. 

While the department stressed that learners avoid participating in dangerous behaviour, it also urged parents to check their children's school bags for fireworks or paint.

"Our primary concern is the continued orderly functioning of our schools and the general safety of all children. Our Grade 12 learners will also be writing their Geography examinations. It would be very unfortunate and infuriating if these examinations are disrupted in any way because these learners were targeted ahead of such an important matric examination."