MEC calls for violence free schools


Kimberley - No learner shall experience any form of violence at schools premises and outside, this was the message sent by the Northern Cape department of education acting MEC Martha Bartlett during the handover of Torch of Peace by the Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters to the Department of Basic Education at an event held in Tetlanyo High School outside Kimberley.


The Torch of Peace rotates between Basic Education, Transport and Social Development departments with its main objective being to eradicate bullying at schools, substance abuse by learners and any form of violence, it also seen as a symbol that can bring back the hopes to those who have been victims of crimes.


When addressing the media Bartlett said all schools should be violence free as it can enhance learner performance, “As part of the Safer Schools Campaign we need a conducive learning environment; this can eventually improve the pass percentage rate in our schools as learners will feel free to focus on their studies. We are calling on parents and guardians to work together with the department so that we can fight all sorts of crimes in our schools”, Bartlett said.


With many learners having to walk distances to access schools, some are left vulnerable and becomes victims of crimes such as rape, Transport minister Peters encouraged learners to walk in groups so that criminals cannot find it easy to attack them. “We are aware of criminals who hide and waits for these learners and attacks them, our message to the criminals is very clear, we are going to find them and drastic measures will be taken against the perpetrators”, Peters said. 


Through its Shova Kalula National Bicycle programme, Transport department donated bicycles to Tetlanyo learners who walks long distances to access their school, the programme has to date seen more than 1 million learners who use to walk long distances benefiting from it. “A tired learner can’t be productive; the donation of bicycles will be helpful to learners who walk long distance to school, we are calling our road users particularly the drivers to be vigilant all the times when these learners rides on the side of the road”, Peters added.