Open letter to minister of Education on school safety
ICOSA provincial chairman Dawid Kamfer writes:
I would like to draw attention to the bad, unsafe conditions of our teachers and learners in the Western Cape Schools, predominantly the so-called coloured schools.
We, as the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (ICOSA), would like to make an urgent appeal to the Western Cape Department of Basic Education Minister Mrs D Schafer to really step up now and put structures in place to protect learners and educators in our schools across the Western Cape.
We as ICOSA are the custodians in the Western Cape to keep the government accountable and to ensure that the children and teachers are safe and it is your mandate to ensure the safety of teachers and pupils.
The education budget has a Safe School programme that we as taxpayers ensure, so that we budget for the safety of our educators and pupils in our school.
We as ICOSA could not understand why the provincial government did not put any safety measures in place in our schools and you have a Safe Schools budget.
The provincial Education Department did see the trend of violence in our schools and every time when these cases go viral on social media and in the newspaper the spokesperson of your department speaks of measures that will be put in place but in reality, nothing happened.
We as ICOSA strongly condemn the way this department and this provincial government ensure the safety of our educators and learners in our school in the Western Cape.
We recommended the following:
1. Metal detectors at school and electronic entrance points, as is the case at our libraries.
2. School security guards, not only during school, but during weekends and school holidays to curb vandalism.
3. Visible policing and alarm systems at schools. When gangs enter schools the alarm must be linked with the police station for quick response.
4. To involve communities and implement school bus programmes and work with the local community policing forum in communities.
We as ICOSA want the minister to really see this matter as urgent. We cannot allow our teachers and children to die in a place where they are supposed to be safe and protected.
The new candidate for premier, Alan Winde promises more safety when he becomes premier. He must make school safety his top priority.
We as ICOSA want to see a Safe Schools plan rolled out as soon as possible. The old school safety plan is not effective.
We will monitor the safety programmes in our schools and will keep you and your ministry accountable.