DBE to raise awareness on impact of bullying, violence in schools
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Johannesburg - The Department of Basic Education is embarking on a nationwide interdepartmental anti-bullying intervention drive in schools to raise awareness on the impact of bullying and violence in schools.
The department announced on Thursday that it was partnering with different departments, social partners and stakeholders for this anti-bullying intervention initiative in an effort to curb bullying involving learners, teachers and sometimes community members.
This anti-bullying intervention comes after bullying victim 15-yearold Lufuno Mavhunga took her own life following a video of her being repeatedly slapped by a fellow pupil last month.
Following the tragic death of the Limpopo learner, bullying and violence in schools took centre stage in the national conversation on safety in schools.
DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said that the campaign, themed “School Safety – Violence and Bullying Prevention Initiatives” aims to mobilise learners, parents, teachers and key stakeholders in promoting a safe learning environment and to galvanise constrictive community involvement to curb incidents of bullying and violence.
“Bullying, which often leads to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, suicide, low academic performance, absenteeism and dropping out of school, can have a direct impact on educational outcomes,” Mhlanga said.
The anti-bullying roadshow will start today at Tshepana Primary School in Orange Farm.
The roadshow will be launched by DBE Deputy Minister Dr Reginah Mhaule with Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Pinky Kekana, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Njabulo Nzuza, Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development John Jeffery, Deputy Minister of Social Development Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu and Deputy Minister of Police Cassel Mathale.
“The programme entails engagement with the school management teams and school governing bodies (SGBs) on reporting and taking proactive steps to manage disruptive incidents, as and when they emerge; a meeting with parents on the importance of playing an active role in school activities and equipping them with tools for effective monitoring and management of bullying, as well as an engagement with Grade 10-12 learners,” Mhlanga said.
He added that the government departments and key stakeholders have converged to bring services such as psycho-social support, health screening, career guidance, ID registration for eligible learners and many in an effort to support learners in Orange Farm as part of the government-wide strategy ahead of Child Protection Week.
“A total of 250 learners and their parents from neighbouring schools will benefit from the programme, while school management teams of schools within the vicinity will form part of the programme,” Mhlanga said.