The IFP believes that police should be able to carry out airport-style security checks for knives and guns in schools after a learner was stabbed to death at Hlamvana High School in Empangeni in KZN.
“This latest incident shows clearly that not enough is being done to remedy the problem of violence in schools. Teachers and learners are exposed to a climate of fear and trauma. Schools should be a safe space for all. We are concerned that the provincial education department does not have effective plans to address such incidents of violence. We demand that officers with hand-held metal detectors should go into schools and conduct random checks to gauge the extent of the problem. The checks should be carried out with the co-operation of the school management and parents as part of a general audit of violent incidents in schools”, said IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Education, Mrs Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa, MPL.
“I think that would give us a snapshot of the level of weapons-carrying in schools. I think there is an increasing number of pupils who are going to school armed because there are issues around bullying and relationships with their peers. The IFP believes that stepping up security in schools after the death of Lungisani Ngema, a learner at Hlamvana High School would mean fear would have triumphed. We further suggest that there should be better education and counselling of learners to stop them carrying dangerous weapons. We want a national system of recording violent incidents in schools, many of which we believe are not being reported,” concluded Mrs Madlopha Mthethwa.
The IFP sends its sincere condolences the family and friends of the deceased learner and will be writing to the Education MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni, to ascertain what action will be taken by her department to protect learners and educators at this and other schools.