Teachers should be empowered through self-defence lessons and be permitted to use pepper sprays when their lives and those of pupils are in danger.
This is the call made on Friday by South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) North West provincial chairperson‚ Paul Sebegoe.
This follows three cases of violence at schools in recent days‚ in particular the killing of a mathematics teacher‚ Gadimang Costa Mokolobate‚ 24‚ who was stabbed to death inside a classroom by a pupil‚ aged 17‚ near Zeerust.
The civic organisation called on authorities to protect educators against escalating levels of violence in schools.
“We condemn in the strongest terms possible this ghastly and heinous crime and urge education authorities to summarily dismiss the learner in question while the law takes its course to send an unequivocal message that the bringining of weapons on school premises as well as such acts of violence are unacceptable in our schooling system.”
Sebegoe said that incidents of this nature are unacceptable manifestation of the breakdown of the moral fibre of society and the culture of violence that needs to be urgently addressed to reclaim values of respect for others and Ubuntu.
“They undermine discipline required for effective learning and teaching to take place in our schools‚” he said.
Violence at schools has been in the spotlight this week with two other incidents reported: At Eldorado Park in Johannesburg‚ a pupil was arrested after pointing a gun at a teacher and in the Eastern Cape‚ an 18-year-old pupil was stabbed to death in class‚ allegedly by a fellow pupil.
Sebegoe appealed to church‚ community leaders including crime prevention structures to join with school governing bodies as well as parents to address ill-discipline‚ escalating violence‚ drugs and gangsterism in schools
He “emphasised that the school safety programme must empower educators with self-defence lessons and allow them to use non-lethal force such as pepper sprays when their lives and those of learners are in danger“.