Minister Schäfer Discourages Irresponsible Behaviour over Guy Fawkes
Statement by Debbie Schäfer, Western Cape Minister of Education
It has been brought to my attention that each year there is increased absenteeism in our schools in certain Cape metropole areas around Guy Fawkes day on 5 November.
Some learners do not attend school in order to participate in activities that are potentially dangerous and irresponsible. These activities include throwing paint on other children when they leave school.
These bullying tactics and intimidatory behaviour is simply unacceptable and should be condemned by the community.
I have asked the WCED to contact SAPS and request that they are visible in areas where this practice has traditionally been common, particularly around the schools.
All communities and parents should discourage such activities in their neighbourhoods.
Not only does it place our children’s safety at risk, it also has resulted in further absenteeism at schools as some learners do not attend school due to fear of being attacked or targeted by the other children doing these things.
While our schools will manage learners at the school level, parents must take responsibility for their children; this can be done in the following ways:
- By co-operating and supporting their schools by ensuring that their children attend school on Wednesday. Wednesday is a normal teaching and learning day and therefore normal school hours apply.
- By ensuring that there is no disruption of schooling by dissuading their children from participating in such activities.
- By ensuring that their children are supervised after school hours.
- By monitoring their children’s behavior and checking their school bags for any fireworks or other materials such as paint before leaving home. Learners are not permitted to bring any fireworks into school grounds.
Every teaching day is important and our primary concern is the continued orderly functioning of our schools and the general safety of all children at a time where irresponsible behavior seems to be the ‘order of the day’.
I appeal to parents and the community to work together to ensure minimal disruption in our schools and communities by discouraging irresponsible behavior.
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Cell: 076 175 0663