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The Education for Social Justice Foundation (ESJF) is outraged and infuriated by the endless violence directed at teachers by learners in some of the schools across the country. The foundation condemns these barbaric acts of intimidation with the strongest possible terms and calls on law enforcement agencies to do everything in their power to bring perpetrators to book.

“We call on authorities to take very strong action against the learner who threatened a teacher with a gun at Eldorado Park Secondary school. Learners need to learn the hard way that they can continue to do as they wish.” Makaneta said.

We can no longer fold our arms and watch when teachers are harassed by learners in schools.  Schools are not hiding places for ill-disciplined learners. We therefore call on the Department of Basic Education to immediately expel the learner who was involved in the harassment of the teacher at Vaal without any delay.

We want government to act decisively to restore law and order in schools in order to maintain the necessary confidence of parents and members of the public in our schooling system. It is for this reason that we wish to reiterate that government should install cameras in all classrooms across South African schools in order to improve learning and teaching. We note that South Africa remains at the bottom of the list of countries of the world when it comes to the performance in maths and science. Singapore and Finland are leading countries in maths and science because their governments are able to monitor teaching and learning.

The installation of cameras in classrooms will go a long way in exposing lazy teachers and ill-disciplined learners who view the school as another place of entertainment. Investigations have shown that schools which have cameras do not experience violence or bullying amongst learners as everyone within the premises knows that they are being watched. The installation of cameras will also improve relations amongst teachers and ensure that dysfunctional schools are exposed.

In September 2017 we sent a correspondence to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss violence in schools but our request fell on deaf ears. We will be escalating our request to the office of President Cyril Ramaphosa to ensure that we address the issue of violence in schools once and for all. We also note that some within the country have expressed concern that the installation of cameras will be costly but if we are serious in curbing school violence, we will have to invest in cameras for the long term benefit of the system itself and as a way to develop responsible future men and women of South Africa.

We must invest the necessary time and resources to assist in the development and general well-being of our pupils. If parliamentary proceedings can be televised, why should teaching and learning not be monitored? Parents should be able to walk into schools and request footage of lessons conducted at any time so they can check that their children are being taught properly. Schools are public institutions, therefore the public has a right to know about what is taking place in those classrooms.

Schools which have cameras in their premises have high levels of discipline. Most of South Africa’s private schools have cameras in their classrooms and their pupils achieve good results. We need to tighten the grip on teacher and pupil discipline. We must take the education of our children seriously and ensure that we restore confidence in all those parents who took their children to private schools. We make this call knowing full well that we stand a chance of rendering ourselves unpopular to lazy teachers and lazy learners. But if we are to succeed as a country, we have no choice but to do what is necessary to take our education system to new heights.

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For more information please contact:-

Hendrick Makaneta
Deputy Chairperson
Education for Social Justice Foundation
082 623 2148 or makaneta.hm@gmail.com

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