Minister worried about school violence

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cape Town - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has condemned violence against teachers in schools.

Speaking ahead of her department's Budget Vote in Parliament, Motshekga said there were "unsettling safety levels in schools."

She was concerned about learners who attacked teachers after they had been reprimanded, girls who got raped at schools, those who faced sexual harassment and abuse, as well as learners who brought weapons to school. 

The minister conceded that body searches for a huge number of learners were difficult. She called on parents to teach their children the values of peace to help stamp out in violence in schools.

There were also the ongoing challenges regarding quality of teaching and assessment and inadequate curriculum coverage.

Meanwhile, the department is planning to consolidate small schools into bigger schools, in order to make them less expensive to run. The minister said there were many two-classroom schools, some with less than a hundred learners, which were expensive to run.

She said that they had identified about 85 mud schools and 8 000 other structures in schools which needed to be sorted out.

The department has allocated a special fund of R700 million to eradicate mud schools.

"We are working with Treasury and the Departments of Public Services and Transport to improve functionality in the Eastern Cape on a sustainable basis," she said. - BuaNews