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Presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children, Youth and People with Disabilities. Brief on Programmes aimed at curbing violence in schools. 1 1. INTRODUCTION. Crime prevention continues to be a priority of government.

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Presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children, Youth and People with Disabilities


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    1. Presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children, Youth and People with Disabilities Brief on Programmes aimed at curbing violence in schools 11

    2. INTRODUCTION • Crime prevention continues to be a priority of government. • More concerning is fact that young people constitute a considerable percentage of the affected population segment, both as victims and perpetrators. • These instances occur in spaces traditionally considered safe, e.g. schools, homes, etc. • Psychological research hypothesizes that children exposed to violence and victimization are likely to become perpetrators of antisocial behavior. • This presentation aims to provide an update on programmes by DBE aimed at curbing violence in schools. 22

    3. AUDIT OF 585 SCHOOLS • CJCP appointed by the Department and UNICEF to conduct a baseline audit in all 585 Child Friendly schools in 2006 Aim of the audit • To collect baseline information that can guide the design, implementation and monitoring of Safe and Caring Schools nationally, as well as other initiatives such as the Sports Development, Leadership Development and School Management programmes. • To support the design of specific interventions that will contribute to the reduction of social vulnerabilities for learners in these schools in relation to violence, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, gangsterism, etc. 33

    4. Incidents involving weapons and drugs/alcohol, pregnancies and corporal punishment across schools 44

    5. Facilities by province 55

    6. Recommendations implemented • Identified high-risk schools at province level and provide immediate attention. • Targeted interventions designed to meet the specific needs of identified schools developed. • Encourage learners to report all incidents of violence, including cases where educators might be abusing their position. • Formal mechanisms for the recording and reporting of incidents by principals developed and instituted within schools and districts. • Physical infrastructure (e.g. gates, fences, metal detectors) controlling access to school property maintained and monitored to ensure that only those who have business at the school are allowed access and deter learners from carrying weapons to schools. 66

    7. DBE School Safety Approach • Approach – address both the physical and social aspects of school safety. • Main pillars: • Physical infrastructure • Support to management and teachers • Learner support • Partnerships and Community involvement 77

    8. PHYSICAL ASPECTS • Provision of adequate physical infrastructure • Priority – control and monitor access to school properties. • 9 Ministerial Schools nationally: • fences • security guards • hand held metal detectors • high mast lights • CCTV systems 88

    9. SOCIAL ASPECTS • 4 areas of focus • Support to school management • Support to teachers • Learner support • Partnerships • Community Mobilisation 99

    10. SUPPORT TO SCHOOL MANAGEMENT • Policy • Regulations for Safety Measures at Public Schools, 10 November 2006, • The Search and Seizure and Drug Testing- gazetted in notice 1140 of 2008 • The Bill of Responsibilities for the Youth of South Africa • Example of the Code of Conduct for learners at all public schools • Exploring Humanitarian Law • Youth development curriculum programme • Proven to reduce levels of violence amongst learners on the playground • 9 Ministerial Schools trained and implementing since 2007 • Being implemented in provinces as part of LO • Hlayiseka: Training on Early Warning System • Identification, management, monitoring and reporting of security threats • Teams at 9 Ministerial Schools trained and implementing system • Currently being extended to 585 high-risk schools in provinces 1010

    11. Management support cont • Support with development of School Codes of Conductand safety policies • Very few schools implement Codes of Conduct • During Hlayiseka training, emphasis placed on the development and use thereof • Example on Code of Conduct distributed to schools • Training principals and teachers on drug searches and management • Support teachers to deal with discipline in schools • Booklet on alternatives to corporal punishment in schools, but in need of support on how to implement • In discussion with other partners to support schools • Sport for development 121 schools country-wide were identified for this programme which mobilizes communities to protect schools and sport is used as a vehicle. 1111

    12. Intergovernmental relations - safety • Collaborative partnership with SAPS • Implementation protocol was developed and signed by the Minister of Basic Education and Minister of Police. The collaboration is on the following areas: • To strengthen Safe School Committees in addressing crime and violence in schools (b) To link all schools to local Police Stations; (c) To raise awareness amongst children and young learners regarding crime and violence and its impact on individuals, families and education; (d) To mobilise communities to take ownership of schools by protecting them (e) To encourage the establishment of reporting systems at schools; and (g) To implement school-based crime prevention programmes in collaboration with provincial, district/local officials responsible for school safety 1212

    13. PARTNERSHIPS • Aimed at mobilising community support and the integration of activities • Community patrols and watches around schools • Encouraging schools to develop relationships with structures and organisations within communities • Include SAPS Business Against Crime research agencies and NGOs non-government organisations like CJCP, Boys and Girls Town • Community Mobilization SGBs National Community Policing Forum 1313

    14. Role of SGB • Ensure the effective Safe School Committee is in place and programmes are implemented by schools • Ensure that law enforcement officials provide a visible presence on school premises during school hours and at school-related events. • To ensure that schools have a School Safety Plan and a School Development Plan, clearly indicating short-, medium- and long term objectives. • To ensure that schools have Crisis/Emergency Management Plan, which clearly outlines roles and responsibilities for all role players. • To ensure that a Reporting Mechanism is in place to report on incidents of crime and violence that occur on school property or at school-related events. • Monitor the implementation of searches, seizures and drug testing. • Ensure that school property is a gun free, dangerous weapon free and drug free zones. Signage should be clearly visible to learners and visitors 1414

    15. Role of Communities • The involvement of School Communities is crucial when it comes to creating Safe, Caring and Child Friendly Schools. • Parents have more access to information and resources than they realise – through their day-to-day interactions with their children, their friends, other parents/caregivers, educators, school principals, coaches and other community members. • Parents have worked with school principals and staff to stop vandalism in its tracks, to curb theft, introduce conflict resolution programmes, redesign building spaces to discourage illicit activities and secure funding for security upgrades. • The time has come for School Communities to take ownership of their schools by not tolerating any form of crime or violence which jeopardizes their children’s future. 1515

    16. Conclusion • Work on Ministerial Schools concluded as it was set for a 5-year period. DBE up-scaling attention to all schools though the DBE-SAPS protocol. • Creating Safe, Caring and Child Friendly Schools is essential for learners’ academic and social success. • There are multiple elements to establishing environments in which youth feel safe, connected, valued, and responsible for their behaviour and learning. • Key to this is preventing violence in all forms whether bullying, aggressive classroom behaviour, gun use, or organized gang activity. • The basic principles that underlie effective strategies to reduce violent behaviour are the same as those that underlie strategies that promote healthy development and learning for all students. • Effective approaches balance security measures and discipline with positive supports, skill building, parent and community involvement, and improved school climate. 1616